Mick Schumacher’s last appearance in Formula 1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix did not end as hoped for the German. Starting from P12, the Haas driver was initially pushed to the back of the field as the VF-22 clearly lacked pace before Schumacher suffered an incident with Williams driver Nicholas Latifi. Mick’s successor and thief of his seat at Haas makes a surprisingly defensive comment on the crash.
Schumacher considered an overtaking manoeuvre at turn 5, but backed off before getting too close to the Williams driver’s rear at the apex of the corner. After the slight contact, both drivers spun, with Latifi later retiring as well.
For the incident, Schumacher collected a five-second penalty, which he “doesn’t really care about”, as well as two penalty points on his super licence. While his uncle and ‘Sky’ pundit Ralf Schumacher already said during the race in the commentary: “Clearly Mick’s fault, he simply misjudged”.
Nico Hülkenberg of all people, who will replace Schumacher at Haas in 2023, sides with the 23-year-old.
Hülkenberg: ” ‘Goatifi’ drives a strange line”.
“You also have to say that ‘Goatifi’ drives a strange line at the entrance,” the German from Emmerich analyses on Red Bull’s ServusTV, somewhat degrading the Canadian by referring to him as a Goat.
“Drives very far and then pulls in and I think Mick didn’t really intend it. That came about in a strange way. That can happen, but it doesn’t change anything.”
Schumacher justified himself after the contact:
“I mean, in general these cars are very … You don’t really have a big overview of what’s going on in the environment. I mean, the car, the tyres are super high, and the steering wheel is kind of in your face.”
“I think he braked a little bit and went wide and then came back on the track, which I didn’t expect. I just didn’t see him. That was so frustrating. I managed to get a couple of good laps in at the end, but by the end the tyres were gone. So yeah, that was frustrating. Not the best race.”
Despite collision: Schumacher ahead of teammate
The race stewards explained their decision as follows: “The stewards reviewed the video footage from several angles. The driver of car 47 [Schumacher] braked too late in turn 5 and hit the rear of car 6 [Latifi], causing a collision. The driver of car 47 was fully to blame for the collision.”
Despite the incident, Schumacher (16th) ended up ahead of teammate Kevin Magnussen (17th), although he seems rather indifferent as the Haas was not competitive. “I didn’t really pay attention to that at all. I just tried to enjoy the laps as much as I could,” he told ‘Sky’.
“The car didn’t feel great for the driver. The bottom line was that we hadn’t had the pace and accordingly we got pretty bogged down from the start. Annoying, but still …”
Haas keeps P8 in WRC: ‘take next step’ in 2023
“We kept the points or the championship in the Constructors’ World Championship, which was of course our goal. From that point of view, everything is ok. We are now looking to the future and hopefully to nicer days,” said the Haas driver.
“But I’m happy for the team because [P8 in the championship] means a whole different budget and I’m sure they can use it.” Team boss Günther Steiner is also happy about that. The Haas team managed to maintain a two-point lead over AlphaTauri.
“We finished the Constructors’ Championship in P8, which was the target this morning,” Steiner said. “That’s what we did. We’ve been through a rollercoaster of ups and downs all year, but in the end we’ve moved up in the championship, which is important, and the goal for next year is to take the next step.”
Nicholas Latifi, who was involved in the incident with Schumacher, also completed his final race in Formula One with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but he is visibly unhappy with the outcome: “The incident with Mick really threw us off track and then we had an electrical problem that forced us to retire. This is not how I wanted to finish my last race, but it is what it is.”
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Sorry this is bs and a perfect example of what happens when you have the FIA protecting you through your junior f3 and and f2 years and then vettel and the FIA protecting you in your f1 years.
Latifi was on older harder tires and had to take a different entrance to the corner. Mick hit him clear as day.
It was another mick schurcrasher moment and he once again refuses to take responsibility.
No wonder the team dislikes him.