Despite his recent participation in the Formula 1 race in Baku, Mick Schumacher still has high hopes for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. “Baku is a street circuit and it’s full of action. That’s why we can still finish points from last,” the Haas driver said after a poor qualifying session on Saturday night.
On average, six cars will not see the checkered flag in Azerbaijan, and then he will have to overtake four cars himself. My dad used to start at the back and drive to the front. “There’s no reason why I can’t do that either,” Schumacher said.
Mick Schumacher: The speed wasn’t there
Only five retirements occurred in Baku, one of which was a late surrender by Lance Stroll, while Schumacher himself managed to get only one position. Against Nicholas Latifi, who took a heavy loss with a ten-second penalty kick at the start due to the team’s attack on the base net. So it was only enough for Schumacher to finish 14th in Baku, 40 seconds ahead of Yuki Tsunoda, who lost a lot of time with a rear wing fracture due to a long break for repairs. That was a worse ranking than it was with Haas, who was quite inferior last year.
“There was no safety car or red flag and I think I’d bet on three safety cars and at least one red flag, but that didn’t happen,” Schumacher complained of boredom in Baku. You simply do not have a chance on your own. “We gave the limit – but the speed was not there,” admits Schumacher. “We have to see that.” In addition, Haas did not exactly rely on the best strategy. After Schumacher started resisting rolling on hard tyres, he switched to medium tires on lap nine under the early VSC system. Since these did not last, the change followed back to the difficult later. The bottom line is that this cost more time than Schumacher gained with the time-saving first serve.
Kevin Magnussen misses the possible point score: the power unit is faulty
Schumacher himself has another explanation ready. His water leak on Friday cost him his entire first training session. “Things went a lot smoother from Saturday onwards, but it’s not easy to find the perfect setup to qualify on this track with just one practice session. That made everything more difficult. And then, not all the qualifying events were huge either,” Schumacher He justifies his notably poor performance of teammate Kevin Magnussen.
The Dane was eliminated in Baku on lap 31, but through no fault of his own due to a power unit problem. At this point Magnussen, starting from P16, was in complete conflict over the last point with Esteban Ocon. In a fairly safe fight, the Frenchman – unlike Magnussen – still had to swing by at this point. The same was true for Daniel Ricciardo, just 14 seconds before. Added to this is the subsequent damage to Tsunoda’s car. Ideally, Magnussen would have even managed to finish eighth — assuming the solid tires installed after nine laps had the right durability.
Hass in a downward spiral? Magnussen’s pace as evidence to the contrary
Conversely, the anger of the Danes is great. “I don’t know exactly what happened. Is. I lost strength, but I don’t know what broke,” says Dane. However, given his pace, Magnussen doesn’t want to know anything about Haas’ downward spiral. “No, I was in a position to score in Monaco, and then I had a problem with the power unit. And again today. It looked like we were back and in a position to score,” Magnussen explained. “It’s disappointing, but that doesn’t make me worry about performance, more about reliability.”
Gunther Steiner sees it the same way. “It’s not what we wanted today, but it’s good that we were in a good position when we got past the PU issues. But we still have to figure out exactly what that was,” says the Haas team boss. “Otherwise our car is good enough to hit the points, we just have to deliver!”