Son of F1 legend is on probation; Mick Schumacher banned from Formula 1 accidents – The German faces criticism after a series of accidents in recent Grand Prix. He is one of only two drivers without a point this Formula One season.
Mick Schumacher puts his worries aside. After his total loss in Monte Carlo, the German Formula One youngster is not fazed by the prospect of the next frenzy through narrow city walls: “Baku will feel big compared to Monaco, that’s for sure,” said the Haas driver ahead of Sunday’s Grand Prix in Azerbaijan.
But the son of record world champion Michael Schumacher is facing growing criticism and doubts after a series of accidents. He must not allow himself another slip-up in the urban sprawl of Baku.
Team boss Günther Steiner warned with a view to the Canadian round scheduled just a week later:
“It will be even more difficult if there is any damage to the car. So we hope nothing breaks in Baku.” Mick Schumacher, in particular, may take that as a clear directive. He completely destroyed his car in Saudi Arabia and Monaco respectively. In addition, there were accidents in Bahrain and Miami.
According to industry reports, the 23-year-old’s misfortunes have already cost his team more than a million euros this year. New chassis, new gearbox parts, many hours of work – that hurts the cash-strapped Haas racing team in particular. In the worst case, less money is left for the technical development of the cars.
“Mick has to learn that such mistakes must not happen, no question about it,” wrote uncle Ralf Schumacher in his Sky column.
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Apart from Williams driver Nicholas Latifi, Mick Schumacher is the only driver still without points this year. This hurts all the more because his new team-mate Kevin Magnussen has already scored 15 points.
“There is no hiding in Formula 1. Only results count. Mick knows that very well, too,” team boss Steiner told motorsport.com.
The 2021 apprenticeship year in the then hopelessly inferior car is definitely over for Schumacher, now he is driving on probation more than ever. “With our car we are in a good position for Baku,” said Schumacher. Especially the long home straight at the Caspian Sea should suit the strong Ferrari engine. It will be tricky in the narrow passages of the old town, which have often been a focus of accidents.
Schumacher has mixed memories of the Baku City Circuit. In the main Formula 2 race in 2019, he retired after spinning. Last year, he collided with his impetuous team-mate Nikita Masepin at almost full throttle shortly before the end.
Schumacher wants nothing more this time than a problem-free weekend to silence the critics. Some pundits have already suggested that further slip-ups could cost Schumacher his job at Haas prematurely.
“In principle, I think that’s impossible, and I don’t think that’s being considered either,” said Ralf Schumacher.
The critical statements by team boss Steiner had been “superfluous” because they left “simply too much room for interpretation”. Nephew Mick had always grown with his tasks in his career. “I’m not worried about that at all,” said Ralf Schumacher.
“I have no doubt that Mick is capable of more than he is showing at the moment,” said the four-time world champion – and took the media observers to task:
“I think you should leave him alone for a while…”
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