Today’s FP3 session was red-flagged as a consequence of Mick Schumacher’s crash at turn 11. The Haas driver has now revealed that he would have taken part in Q1 had the session been marginally delayed.
Schumacher had a massive crash as his VF-21 car headed into the wall at turn 11 in the third free practice session. The high track temperatures had been increasing tire degradation and consequently, had been compromising the final sector for all drivers.
Schumacher’s incident at turn 11 was only proof that the high tire temperatures could result in severe consequences. Schumacher explained the build-up to the crash and pointed out the set of chain reactions that led to it: “The whole situation started, in turn, seven, where the exit was already quite on the limit with wheelspin, which in that case does overheat the surface.
“As a result, I had [turn] nine in a difficult place already with the rear being quite on the limit. But again, [turn] nine I kind of understood because it was a place where I’ve usually had snaps already all weekend long, so I kind of was ready to counter that.
“Coming into turn 11 we’re turning in nearly flat, and at that time when the rear went, I was kind of more of a passenger.”
He admitted the fact that he was caught off-guard by the incident as turn 11 was not a corner he had struggles with during the previous two practice sessions. He, however, accepted that he is still learning the impact of wind and surface temperatures on F1 cars.
“What’s a bit difficult this year is that our car seems to be quite affected by wind conditions and also by surface overheating, which adds on to I think what happened in FP3 today. For example, turn 11 was never a particular issue for me over the whole course of the weekend, so it kind of caught me off-guard that I lost the rear in that corner.
“But obviously looking at it, looking at the data and everything, it just seems like the wind conditions and surface overheating just increased that little bit more compared to the run before, also because of the track temperature being so high.”
After explaining the crash, Schumacher began to praise his team’s mechanics as they had nearly fixed the car. He also shared that he was hoping for a red flag in Q1 as that would have given them a chance to send the car out.
“Unfortunately the way I hit the wall made things very complicated for us to repair it afterwards. So again I think it’s a very unfortunate moment because we missed out on qualifying again.
“But I’m very, very proud about how the team managed to get so close. I think we were around five to ten minutes off getting the car out.”