K-Mag adamant he won’t block Mick: ‘I’m a team player’

Michelle Foster
Kevin Magnussen speaking with his 2022 Haas team-mate Mick Schumacher. Bahrain March 2022

With Mick Schumacher unhappy about Haas’ tactics in the Austrian sprint race, Kevin Magnussen says he would not “block” his team-mate, he would be a “team player”.

Chasing Magnussen throughout Saturday’s sprint at the Red Bull Ring, Schumacher felt he was faster than his team-mate as he stayed glued to his rear wing.

Or at least he did until he had to defend against Lewis Hamilton, that battle eventually seeing Schumacher fall out of DRS range of his team-mate and Hamilton pouncing.

Schumacher was not happy, telling the media it was “something to be discussed” as he felt he had been “quite a bit quicker”.

Team boss Guenther Steiner pointed out that was because he had the DRS from his team-mate giving him an extra boost.

Twenty four hours later it was Schumacher who had the better result of the two Haas team-mates, the German passing the Dane on his way to sixth place. Magnussen was P8.

It was Schumacher’s second successive top-10 finish in a grand prix, with Magnussen vowing that now his team-mate is up and running he is happy to work with him for the better of Haas.

“I won’t block him if he’s faster, and slow down the team,” said Magnussen, quoted by Motorsport.com. “I’m here to help the team, not to win the World Championship.

“Hopefully the latter happens, but for them I’m a team player.

“I’m very happy with the double points scored. If I had been running crazy blocks [against Schumacher] we might not have scored any points.”

Magnussen praised Schumacher for his recent improvement, the German up to 12 points in the Drivers’ Championship which has helped Haas to jump seven points ahead of AlphaTauri in the race for P7.

“We are seventh in the championship,” Magnussen added. “We need both drivers to perform well. It’s more difficult for the team if only one of the two is scoring points.

“He [Schumacher] has made a big step in the last two races.”

Haas’ back-to-back double points haul came as the team prepare for their first upgrade of this season, Magnussen and Schumacher still racing the same VF-22 as they ran on the final day of pre-season testing.

“Sometimes you have to be careful with upgrades,” said Magnussen. “Other teams don’t seem to have gained much with it. Hopefully we will find something with it. But I don’t expect big changes.

“If we take a small step forward, that’s great.

“This weekend we were the fourth, fifth team. Alpine, McLaren and ourselves were doing well in midfield. And without any updates. If we can stay with them, we will do great. And maybe we can come up with upgrades for them.”

 

The floodgates open for Mick Schumacher

One points finish was then followed by a first top-six finish in F1 for Mick Schumacher.