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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.