At Haas, Schumacher meets another world
Mick Schumacher is currently driving for the Formula 2 title in Bahrain. His Formula 1 promotion is considered certain. At Haas he meets a team boss who is equivalent to a culture shock
Even if it’s not official yet, the fronts have long been clarified: The South Tyrolean will be Schumacher’s first boss in Formula 1.
This is what Mick Schumacher could look like in a Haas outfit.
Steiner is exactly the opposite of the young German. The South Tyrolean looks like a rock in the surf of the Formula 1 bubble. His motto: “My grandmother always said to me: If you run after the other sheep, you only see their asses.” He understood that, he took it to heart. That’s why he never minuses his mouth. That is why he is always annoyed when the rapporteurs keep asking the same questions.
On the other hand, Schumacher, well educated, is always courteous. He talks a lot without saying anything so as not to offend.
The force of nature Steiner is completely different. Raw, unspoilt, yet universally educated, looking through Formula 1 and holding a mirror up to it at the same time. He was asked which living and deceased celebrities he would have liked to meet over dinner. With the living he answered “Elvis”, with the dead legends “Keith Richards”. Very few understood the irony.
Steiner is not too bad to show his emotions when he feels like it. Like in Japan two years ago. The FIA officials appointed him to the criminal tribunal. Reason: the emotional South Tyrolean had previously verbally abused one of their referees during the race in Sochi. He radioed his pilot Kevin Magnussen, audible to everyone: “If we hadn’t had a stupid, idiotic inspector, we would be eighth. You know who this inspector is. You know him. He just doesn’t get any more intelligent.”
Günther Steiner (55)
© LAT / Haas
What was meant was the Italian ex-racing driver Emanuele Pirro, who always smiles nicely in conversation in the paddock, but in his role as referee all too likes to play the executioner all the more violently. Steiner had to pay a $ 75,000 fine. But that was worth the truth to him.
Steiner, who became a cult star in the F1 documentary of “Netflix” because of his manner, knows his worth. He smiles ironically when he says: “Actually, the marketers should pay me money. But I’m just who I am. I’m not an actor who pretends to be. If I think something, it has to come out.”
The Haas team boss likes nonconformists, people who swim against the current, likes discussions and therefore nobody gets out of the way. “I respect it when people argue with me – I even want that. I don’t want any yes-men,” Steiner explains and says. “To start an honest dialogue, I have to be the honest one.”
He admits that he would like to work with a Mick Schumacher. “Who wouldn’t want that with a fast boy who goes by the name Schumacher?” He asks openly. But one thing must be clear to Mick. It could be an adventure trip for him like that of a pupil in the elite boarding school who is suddenly abandoned in the middle of the wild city.
But one thing is also certain: There are not a few who claim: In the phase of his still young career, nothing better can happen to Schumacher than to be at the mercy of the intellectual roughshod from South Tyrol.