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Schumacher “90% happy” with F1 debut despite early trouble

Mick Schumacher during the Bahrain GP. Credits: Haas F1 Team Media.

Mick Schumacher admits he is “90% happy” about his Formula 1 debut despite the spin at the beginning of the race, which almost cost him retirement. 

Just like Michael Schumacher, Mick did not score any points on his debut in the pinnacle of motorsport. However, the son of the seven-time world champion saw the checkered flag unlike his father, who was forced to retire due to a clutch problem.

 “I think in general I’m 90% happy, 10% not because of the mistake that I made in the Safety Car restart with the spin,” Schumacher said. “Luckily the car was still drivable, and everything was alright, so I could keep going and keep taking my experience through the race weekend. After that, I went through the C3s [tires] and the C2s, and the C2 felt good.”

The young German driver spun at turn four after the race re-started. However, the car was not damaged, and Mick used all the 56 laps of the race to learn and acquire confidence. 

“I was trying to understand why it happened, and I quite quickly understood it, so that was good. Afterward, it was a bit of a shame that I wasn’t in the pack being able to try at least to be close to the guys for a few laps.

“Fortunately I got through – with blue flags but also catching up to Nicholas [Latifi] – and I was able to feel how it is to follow a car closely and with DRS and everything. So all in all I feel like I’ve learned a lot, and I’m able to hopefully convert that into something positive for the next race in a few weeks.”

Haas Team Principal, Guenther Steiner, fully supports Mick. He said to his new driver to “keep on doing this, and we will get there pretty soon to be at a good level.

“He improved in each stint on tires, very good, very calm, excellent communication with his team. Except for one spin, nothing else went wrong.”

Even though only one car reached the end of the race, Steiner knows very well that this is all part of the process, and both Nikita Mazepin and Mick are learning. 

“I think when you fight, you need to learn this fight. I think both of them went onto the throttle too harsh and then went on the curb, or something like this. These cars are so powerful, when the torque kicks in, you get a kick that you cannot control anymore.

“So I think this is down to making the experience, I do not think they will do that again, they will spin again, but not in the way they did [on Sunday]. This was a new experience in a race, trying to fight with other cars and sometimes being a little too optimistic, how much traction you’ve got or how much the car can take of power from the engine.”

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