Günther Steiner is known for not mincing his words. Thanks to his clear announcements, the Haas team boss is popular with fans, especially those of the F1 soap on Netflix – but feared by his drivers. Now Mick Schumacher (23) is also becoming increasingly acquainted with the tough nature of the South Tyrolean.
After Schumacher’s accident in Monaco, Steiner not only lashed out at his driver in the official press release (“We’ll have to see how we continue from here.”). Even before that he increased the pressure.
“You don’t have forever in Formula 1,” said the team boss before the race weekend in Sport Bild. “There’s a queue of drivers who want to drive in your place. I’m sure Mick is aware that no one will be waiting for him.” And in relation to the risk of crashes in the principality, he warned: “If you only ever build accidents, you have no career.”
Alone: Even if you know the tough dog from the Dolomites, such statements are surprising. The pressure on Mick Schumacher is not low anyway because of the famous surname. Counting Michael Schumacher’s son publicly in this way is considered a breach of taboo in the scene.
In addition, Formula 1 is a team sport. The driver in the cockpit has to deliver. But he is always dependent on the performance of the team around him. And Haas 2022 isn’t perfect either.
This is a huge disadvantage, especially in the principality. “In Monaco you have to slowly feel your way to the limit,” says uncle Ralf Schumacher. “Especially with the new cars that are wider. Every kilometer is extremely important. And vice versa.”
Especially since Mick is not quite satisfied with the handling of his racing car anyway. “We tried a different direction in Spain in terms of set-up and the car was much more to my liking,” he revealed ahead of the Monte Carlo GP. “But there’s still a lot of room for improvement.”
What’s more, unlike most other cars, his Haas VF-22 hasn’t received a major upgrade. Another circumstance that provokes mistakes, says Ralf Schumacher: “You can drive the car fast, but it’s getting harder and harder to keep up with the pace of the others. In any case, something has to happen to make life easier for Mick.”
But one thing is also certain: Mick Schumacher has not been written off within the family for a long time. What helps is a look into the past. He also had difficult phases in the junior series, but in the end he still won the titles in Formula 3 and Formula 2.
“The tide can turn very quickly, I’ve shown that before,” emphasized Schumacher himself after his crash in Monaco. And Uncle Ralf also adds: “The pressure on Mick was extremely high, especially at the beginning of his second F2 season. So many people doubted him. But he fought back brilliantly and clinched the title.”
Nobody expects the title this season from the son of the German sports legend. But flawless races and points. And they will come when the forecasts of the family environment come true.
Good for Schumi: In Formula 1 you forget quickly – even negative events. Ex-driver Marc Surer says to F1-Insider.com: “When Mick drives a brilliant race, the things before that are forgotten. But it should come soon.”