Montreal has apparently always been a good place for Mick Schumacher: “As a child, I fished behind the Mercedes garage and actually caught a few fish. I built the hook myself at the time,” reveals the German in the run-up to the race on the Île Notre Dame. In qualifying on Saturday, Mick caught the biggest fish of his Formula 1 career so far this time: sixth place in qualifying!
With the support of his family, the 23-year-old managed a very important liberation at the right time on Saturday. “Mick was heavily criticized recently. But here he shows that he is absolutely deserved in the Haas,” judges ex-F1 driver Alex Wurz. And there were also words of praise from the otherwise strict team boss Günther Steiner: “Mick worked his way up there today. You have to stay calm out there in such conditions and not make any mistakes, that was well done.”
The difficult conditions, of all things, suit Schumacher and show that water is not only his element when fishing – just like Papa Michael, the rain king of Formula 1 at the time. Mick has obviously also inherited his perfectionism, because a blemish on his strong one annoys him Qualifying anyway: Teammate Kevin Magnussen is fifth, three and a half tenths faster than him.
Schumi Jr. does the faster laps than the Dane over longer stretches of qualifying. “Unfortunately we couldn’t get the maximum out of it because positioning on the track with the last set of tires proved to be a bit difficult. We had to stop one lap because of traffic (by Carlos Sainz; ed.), then everything is a bit too cold.”
Alone: In dry conditions this becomes a disadvantage, the tires overheat more quickly and the wear and tear slows down the drivers. “It’s going to be difficult for Haas with tire wear,” believes Uncle Ralf Schumacher at Sky. Nephew Mick therefore remains realistic: “I don’t see us getting any further ahead if you look at the pace of the cars around us. But we’ll do our best and then we’ll see where we end up.”
Vettel at a loss: Aston Martin suddenly slow
Curious: After the training impressions in Montreal, the other German driver in the field was actually the big favorite for a surprise: Schumacher’s compatriot Sebastian Vettel finished fourth in the second practice session, and in wet conditions on Saturday afternoon (local time) he even finished third.
Vettel does not yet know the reason for Aston Martin’s crash. “We don’t know what happened yet. Of course it’s hard to say in these conditions because you slide all the time anyway. But the grip level wasn’t comparable to before (in the final training session; ed.). It’s obvious that something didn’t work.”
From the cockpit, Vettel initially even suspected damage on the left rear. After getting out, the German explains: “At times it felt like the car was broken. We have to find out what the problem was. Nothing worked in qualifying, we were extremely slow.” A mystery for Vettel: “We have changed almost nothing. That’s why it’s a mystery.”
The four-time world champion is annoyed: “It’s bitter because we had a great session in the wet yesterday and today. Now it was exactly the wrong timing to have any problem.” Vettel believes: “We could have had a good session, fifth place might have been possible – especially since you never know in these conditions.”
Vettel, who starts 16th because of Charles Leclerc’s relegation after an engine penalty, sees something positive, but then still: “The car can be better than 17th place and that was it all weekend. Of course we’re further behind now than wanted, that doesn’t make it any easier. But our long runs yesterday were good. I think we can make up a few places,” says Vettel. “It wouldn’t be the first time we come back. Maybe tomorrow we can still get a point.”