Formula 1: Schumacher’s Haas in the sights of the competition

There are unmistakable signs in the premier class of automobile sport when a new Formula 1 car has succeeded. The lap times in the pre-season tests only play a minor role. But if representatives of competing racing teams point the finger at you, or even threaten to protest in extreme cases, you as an insider of the scene should prick up your ears. Because the others are then afraid that they could be overtaken.

Alone: ​​The goal-break panic of some teams is good for Mick Schumacher (22). ABMS found out why. His new Haas, of all people, is the object of desire that many are afraid of.

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His new racer is already being called “Moby Dick” with a mixture of respect and contempt in the paddock. Not because it looks as bulky and powerful as Nelville’s notorious white whale in world literature, but because for most people the Haas is just one thing: a white Ferrari.

More specifically: For the competition, the Haas is a car that was developed in cooperation with Ferrari and accordingly shows the same strengths that the red original already hinted at in the tests. And which – to put it bluntly – only differs from the red racer from Marcello with its white paintwork.

The fact is: The Haas VF-22 is not a 1:1 copy of the Ferrari F1-75, but the trend with the slightly wider, undercut sidepods, the triangular airbox and the nose that does not protrude beyond the front wing is common to both racers – albeit the Ferrari is built a touch more extreme in everything.

Mick Schumacher could surprise the 2022 Formula 1 season in Haas.

The forecasts in the paddock are therefore: Schumacher’s Haas, who was always on the road with the red lantern last year, could even fight for fourth place this year with McLaren behind the big three Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari. The times that Schumacher junior and his new teammate Kevin Magnussen burned in the desert asphalt of Bahrain fit the daring thesis.
The accusation from teams like Alpine or McLaren: Many engineers and designers who designed the new Schumi racer in the Haas design office and in the wind tunnel at Ferrari’s headquarters in Maranello are either on Ferrari’s payroll or are entitled to Scuderia in 2021 Has changed. A perfectly legal ploy, thanks to which the Italians did not have to send employees into unemployment as a result of the budget limit newly introduced in 2021. The resulting close connection has nothing to do with the spirit of the Formula 1 regulations, which stipulate that every racing team should build its own car, with its own ideas and developments.

So much for the theory. It’s no secret that Haas has maintained a close partnership for years. This also means that Haas team boss Günther Steiner buys all parts from Ferrari that are permitted according to the regulations. Steering wheels, for example, which would cost a lot more money if you built them yourself. With the car this year, it is rumored that Haas and Ferrari could have pushed the limit of what is permitted unduly.

Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer has already hinted at the accusation against Haas on “F1 TV”: “The concern is that you’ll have a coffee together if you share the wind tunnel,” he explains. “During these discussions, you could then – very informally – send information about the car to the other team.”
Explosive: The American knows exactly what he’s talking about. Two years ago he was still head of races for what was then the Racing Point team, now Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin team. The then pink racer was considered a true-to-original copy of the previous year’s Mercedes and led to investigations by the international automobile association FIA, which even fined Racing Point for illegal copying.

Mick Schumacher can’t care about any of that. He feels at home with his “Moby Dick”. Everything looks as if he can take the next decisive step in his second season in order to recommend himself for the highest tasks.

Are the Haas and the Ferrari too similar?

The driving behavior of the Haas is good for him, the car is definitely fast. Schumacher junior is even so satisfied that he puts his good times into perspective like the big players who want to distract from their own strength: “Many teams have probably not yet shown their full performance,” grins the young man with the legendary surname confidently into the cameras. “But that doesn’t mean that we’ve already shown our full potential.”

His new teammate Kevin Magnussen (29) doesn’t worry him either. The Dane, who drove for Haas from 2017 to 2020 and has now succeeded Russian Nikita Mazepin, is considered extremely fast, experienced and courageous. “He was only out of Formula 1 for a year and was there for a very long time before that,” Schumacher admits to Sky: “But I know where I stand and what I can do, so that doesn’t intimidate me.”

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One thing is certain: it can only be good for the Formula 1 marketers if the fears of the competitors come true. Because Liberty Media is trying doggedly to reawaken German interest in the premier class. A young star by the name of Schumacher, who can regularly finish in the top ten and even scratch the podium, would help enormously.

Formula 1 on TV

In 2022, Formula 1 will run on Sky. Last year, the broadcaster introduced a new TV channel especially for the premier class: Sky Formula 1. Here there is motorsport 24 hours a day. All practice sessions, all qualifying sessions, all races are always live and without commercial breaks. In addition, Sky also broadcasts the support races Formula 2, Formula 3 and the Porsche Supercup. The program also includes historic races and special programs.

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