Azerbaijan GP 2022
You don’t want to work with Haas. The US racing team in Baku failed with both cars in the first qualifying round. Mick Schumacher has the misfortune of sticking to his racing shoes. The unsafe pilot starts from the last starting point.
Haas threatens the fourth zero in a row. The US racing team already has a fast car, but the team and driver often get in their own way. Recently in Monaco, Kevin Magnussen’s MGU-K electric machine went on strike. Certainly, one of the components that Ferrari provides as an engine partner. Mick Schumacher launched his company car into the fenders. The accident budget has already been exhausted.
There is a lack of speed in Baku. However, Magnussen was at least able to advance to the second quarter. But the Dane, like Schumacher, failed in the first hurdle. The 16th and 20th start is a big disappointment. “We could have put ourselves in front of Alfa Romeo with Kevin,” said a satisfied team boss. This would have been at least rank 14. Guenther Steiner also gave a sobering assessment. “We didn’t have the speed in the third quarter. Our car has very high wind resistance.”
Haas problem in the box
Just look at the rear spoiler of the VF-22 engine. It is much larger in relation to competing products. This costs money, especially in the final section, where drivers are on gasoline for about 25 seconds. The team clearly doesn’t have a version of downforce up their sleeve. Engineers can’t set the Haas as low as one would like. There are several bumps in the road, which rocked a hose clamp on Mick Schumacher’s car in the first practice session, resulting in large amounts of coolant leaking.
The same accident that forced Schumacher to stop at the emergency exit on lap four almost happened to Magnussen. He pushed the Haas mechanic to increase the ride height. This directly increases the contact pressure. “We were able to pull back a little bit again on Saturday,” Steiner said. “We found a performance, but it wasn’t enough to get into the top 10.”
Operations and timing slowed in the playoffs. Haas has a problem that as the 10th in the World Cup the previous season, you have the last garage. This circumstance becomes alarming when a line forms behind a red traffic light in the pit lane freeway. As in Baku, because the pilots wanted to be there as soon as possible to properly prepare their tires in the outer tyre. Particularly in the cold evening hours, it is difficult to get the front and rear tires into the working window at the same time.
Schumacher needs a sense of achievement
As a result, the first drivers got out of the garage three minutes before the start of the first quarter. The same thing happened after the Lance Stroll accident was broken. This time because time was of the essence. Haas drivers encountered a wall of cars guiding the racers out of the garages. The first time, Schumacher and Magnussen merged, which sparked an investigation. Sports commissioners acquitted Haas. Both drivers arranged themselves safely. It was not possible otherwise due to circumstances. Also, how was the team supposed to determine when and where to line up correctly in the fast lane?
The second time it was imposed by the race control. When the traffic light turned green again in Q1 2:30 minutes before the clock went off, the Haas were lost again at their garage exit. “The control of the race told us to line up behind McLaren.” It was a way down the field. So Magnussen and Schumacher fought with Ricardo and Norris. So no one can properly equip the tires on the outer rim.
For Schumacher, the cut is especially bitter. He desperately needs a sense of accomplishment after three crashes (Jeddah, Miami, Monaco) this season. “The qualifying result speaks for itself,” grumbled the German. “I’m upset because the car is better than last. We knew getting into the second quarter was going to be tight. But the speed was a little better. Overall, I felt more comfortable in the car in qualifying than I did in training. It could have been higher.”
Hope for chaos in Baku
The passive jogger nibbled at the 23-year-old. Schumacher seems uneasy. Otherwise how could it be? He needs every kilometer to regain confidence in himself and in the car. Instead, watch 53 minutes out of the 60 minutes in your first training session. Pure poison in a street circuit where you have to get close to the walls with an accuracy of centimeters. In Baku from high speeds at the top. A similar challenge awaits in Canada in a week: high speeds, close walls.
Schumacher was upset because he only completed one flight lap on the first set of tires in Q1. “We decided to get a second soft set. In hindsight, it might have been a mistake. As a result, I threw a good round.” This fits with the general situation of the young German who is struggling to get the first points in Formula 1.
The 2020 Formula 2 Champion drives this truck on his shoulders. At some point it should work. “Baku is chaotic. You can still score points from the last place. My father has done it several times in his career. And I don’t see the top ten at a distance. According to statistics, six cars see the square flag in Baku no. Only four left to score.” Team Leader Steiner jokes. “Yes, something can always happen here. But if there was a red flag in the race, we’ve probably been at a lap stop before.”