From a German point of view, only Nico Hulkenberg was a ray of hope. The Emmericher practically jumped from his daughter’s changing table into the F1 cockpit. With tweaking overalls that were too tight and borrowed gloves, he still drove three tenths faster than the team owner’s son, Lance Stroll. Great for the German, embarrassing for the Canadian.
“I did magic, simply worked magic on the steering wheel and drove what I could,” says the Emmerich happily. “I didn’t overcomplicate it and this weekend I focused on the important, simple things. The basics, if you will, and didn’t drive me crazy, but relied on talent and called on my skills.”
Alone: What is so new and motivating for Hülkenberg can be rather sobering for Vettel. His new team boss Mike Krack had to use the first perseverance slogan of the still young season: “We are racers and will do everything to turn the situation around again.”
A sentence that also applies to Mick Schumacher. Although the Haas-Ferrari is apparently good enough for a top place in the top ten, the son of the record world champion got stuck in twelfth place. Worse still: teammate Kevin Magnussen raced into seventh place and ended up with a half-second advantage.
For the young Schumacher, the Dane will be the first major test of his Formula 1 career. “This is the next level of learning,” says Haas team boss Günther Steiner. “Mick can now learn from Kevin.” Then the postscript, dangerous from Schumacher’s point of view: “He’s just come from a year of F1 break – there’s still something going on.”
But it’s also a fact: Schumacher can quickly make up for a bad qualifying session with a strong race. This speaks for itself: His Haas no longer drives behind, but is right in the middle and fully involved.
But as far as Sebastian Vettel is concerned. In the future he will have to decide between a relaxed weekend in the green countryside or a sacrifice in the green Aston Martin.