Klien unimpressed with Steiner’s Schumacher criticism

Date published: August 17 2021 - Michelle Foster

Mick Schumacher's damaged Haas. Hungary July 2021.

Criticising Mick Schumacher for his Hungarian practice crash was not “appropriate” from Guenther Steiner, especially given the pace of the Haas.

That’s according to former F1 driver Christian Klien.

Not for the first time this season, Schumacher missed a qualifying session having crashed his Haas VF-21 in final practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The German lost control through Turn 11, hitting the wall hard with an impact of 30G.

As with his Monaco crash, with just two hours to work on the car between FP3 and qualifying, his Haas mechanics didn’t have the time to repair the car and Schumacher did not take part in qualifying.

His team boss Steiner wasn’t at all impressed.

“(Drivers) have to be able to assess when it is worth taking a risk,” said the Haas team boss.

“The third free practice session is not the right time for this. Maybe we have to sit down again and explain the big picture – that these accidents cause high costs!”

Klien, however, feels the Italian was out of order.

He told Speedweek.com that Steiner’s comments were not “so appropriate. He [Schumacher] doesn’t do it on purpose.

“What do you want with a car that doesn’t work? You have to push, and when you push, it sometimes goes over the limit. That’s the way things happen in the first year.”

He added: “It’s stupid that Haas doesn’t have the budget, it hurts twice over.”

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Schumacher is one of only two drivers yet to score this season, the other being his team-mate Nikita Mazepin.

The German is ahead of the Russian in the Drivers’ Championship by virtue of his 12th placed finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Klien said of the 22-year-old’s season, it is “basically good because he has his team-mate under control, because that’s how he is measured.

“You’ll really see it when he’s in midfield.

“If you drive around in the back it’s good for learning, but demotivating in the long run. In the second year you want to take a step forward.”