Above all, the first pit stop prevented Schumi Jr. from achieving a better result. “We didn’t have the best stop. The front jack didn’t want to come down, that threw us out of the points today,” says Schumacher. Because after the start, the 23-year-old initially stayed in the top 10 until the expensive pit breakdown: “These things happen, now let’s see that we can get something in the upcoming races,” Schumacher remains optimistic.
He also wants to rate the weekend positively despite the missed chance of scoring a World Championship point: “I had a lot of fun, even if I ended up at the wrong end of the field.”
The Haas driver also meets his buddy Sebastian Vettel there: After all, Schumacher wins the German duel on Sunday and grins after a wheel-to-wheel duel that is well worth seeing: “Fighting with Sebastian is always great. We’re through three or four corners together. I learned a lot from him again in these situations. He’s always showing me tricks he has up his sleeve. Hopefully I can use it sometime.”
For Vettel, unlike his buddy in Zandvoort, things are going well – but from the penultimate place on the grid it’s not surprising. It’s still not enough to count after the botched qualifying Saturday, Vettel also shares the fate of a weak first pit stop with Schumacher: “He was really slow, we lost a lot of time and fell behind,” reports the Hessian. “After that we were in traffic and the pace wasn’t good in the middle stint. It only got better at the end.”
But a five-second penalty for ignoring blue flags against the Mercedes drivers, led by Lewis Hamilton, throws the German back behind Mick Schumacher: “The penalty was a bit unnecessary, I don’t think he lost a lot of time there has,” says Vettel and defends himself: “I don’t think I really cost anyone anything. Losing a bit of time (when lapping; ed.) is normal. I gave way very fairly and at a point where they don’t lose any time.”
Vettel doesn’t care that the race control sees it differently, the German rather jokes: “I’m not disappointed if I’m not the best at being lapped.” Nevertheless, the Aston Martin driver thinks: “It’s disappointing , when a blue flag is the highlight of the race. That shows how wrong things went for us today.”
After all: Team colleague Lance Stroll dusted off the last point in tenth place. For Vettel, the proof: “We didn’t have great speed today, but more than where we finally landed.”