Haas boss Steiner hits back after Mick Schumacher’s zen transformation

Mick Schumacher endured a difficult start to the 2022 F1 season but came into his own at the 2022 British and Austrian Grand Prix


Haas team principal Gunther Steiner has hit back at critics of Mick Schumacher, and believes the best is yet to come from his young driver.

After a difficult period in 2022 following his car-splitting Monaco Grand Prix crash, some were questioning Schumacher‘s confidence in the car as he looked off the pace at Baku.

But Schumacher has mounted a remarkable turnaround since, finishing in the top eight at the last two races and fighting with champions Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton on-track.

“He wasn’t as insecure as you all thought,” Steiner told Motorsport-total.com.

“Since Canada, everything is a bit easier, you can tell he’s happier.

“That was the goal, to make him calmer. The beauty is, that has come exactly where outsiders have tried to bring in trouble.

“I wouldn’t say that’s a sense of satisfaction, but we worked towards the goal of Mick being successful and going fast. We have achieved that, I’m pleased about that.”

Mick Schumacher, Haas F1 Team, on the grid with engineers during 2022 Austrian GP. (Photo by Andy Hone / LAT Images)

Not the best learning experience

However, Steiner conceded it’s been a two-year learning curve for the German. Schumacher made his Formula 1 debut in 2021 and was partnered with Nikita Mazepin, who he’d beaten by a comfortable 51 points in Formula 2 the previous season.

That superiority continued as he outmatched Mazepin in both qualifying and race pace, although neither of them were able to score their first points in F1.

“I think it was also difficult for Mick at the beginning, because he was superior last year,” Steiner continued.

“At the back, I don’t think he was able to learn that much last year about how F1 works.

“A lot of the guys come from F2 and think they already know how F1 works but it takes time, you can’t force it.”

It’s been a different story in 2022, up against 29-year-old veteran Magnussen.

A surprise recall after Mazepin was banned from racing and then dropped, Magnussen had 119 Grand Prix under his belt at the start of the season and initially had the beating of Schumacher.

But he’s finished ahead of his more experienced stablemate in the last two races, and worked well with Magnussen at the Austrian Grand Prix to stay ahead of Hamilton in the sprint race.

“Then all of a sudden he is quite inferior,” Steiner said of this season.

“I do think that has an influence on how a driver drives, how he puts pressure on himself. He had to learn that.

“I always say, ‘The further up you get, the thinner the air and the thicker the skin you need’.

“Take the duel with Verstappen at Silverstone, he lost it, but that was good for him because he was able to learn a lot in the process.

“The best way to do that is from the really good ones – when you fight against opponents like that, you learn quickly.”

Ferrari future?

PREMA Racing’s Mick Schumacher before the start of the Monaco GP2 race in 2019 REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Steiner also mentioned Schumacher‘s long-term career plans. He’s one of the longest-serving members of the Ferrari Driver Academy with Maranello supporting him throughout his whole F2 career.

He still has that link and as son of Michael Schumacher, many think it’s his destiny to one day race in scarlet.

But Steiner refused to grant an exclusive scoop on the situation, and said he was more distant from the discussions than many think.

“We will have to see, I will not talk about any Ferrari contracts and not about contracts between Ferrari and Mick either, because I don’t know the details,” Steiner added.

“I know the big picture, but I don’t know the details and I don’t want to know them. That’s why I don’t want to talk about contracts now. You, the media, have to respect that.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
- Advertisment -


Liam Lawson prepares for free practice at the 2022 Mexican Grand Prix | Peter Fox/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull bosses agree on Liam Lawson F1 prospects in 2025

Christian Horner and RB CEO Peter Bayer refused to back Liam Lawson's prospects for a full-time Formula 1 drive...
Carlos Sainz looks on at the 2024 Monaco GP | Ferrari

After Carlos Sainz’s Mercedes denial, why does his future remain an enigma?

Ferrari swinging the axe on Carlos Sainz's career in scarlet must have stung, but the Spaniard at least had...
Charles Leclerc dives into the Monaco harbour | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Where does Charles Leclerc rank 2024 Monaco Grand Prix win?

Charles Leclerc is a race winner for the first time in almost two years as the Ferrari ace crushed...
Charles Leclerc celebrates winning the 2024 Monaco GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

What we learned from the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix

The 2024 Monaco Grand Prix may not have served up a classic, but it wasn’t short on storylines as...
Sergio Perez talks to his engineer Hugh Bird and team principal Christian Horner in the garage | Mark Thompson / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Look away Checo – Horner praises Perez’s F1 rival as star fights for Red...

Christian Horner insists Red Bull will make a decision about Sergio Perez's Red Bull future "in the fullness of...
Max Verstappen during 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Winners and Losers of 2024 Monaco GP

Charles Leclerc vanquished his Monte Carlo demons to finally take victory at his home race, while Red Bull continued...
Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Driver Ratings – Monaco GP 2024

Charles Leclerc was in dreamland as the Ferrari driver finally celebrated an elusive victory at home race at the...
Josef Newgarden drinks his milk after winning the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: James Black

2024 Indy 500 Race Results

Josef Newgarden joined an elite group of drivers by winning the Indy 500 for the second consecutive year in...
Josef Newgarden celebrates winning the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: Amber Pietz

Newgarden takes sensational Indy 500 win after epic battle for glory

The Indianapolis 500 never fails to excite and even a four-hour rain delay couldn't dampen the drama for IndyCar's...
Tom Blomqvist crashes in Lap 1 at the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: Aaron Skillman

2024 Indy 500: Results and Highlights as Newgarden wins

Welcome to this Total Motorsport live blog for the 2024 Indy 500, is among the most prestigious motorsport events...
- Advertisment -