Exclusive: ‘Schumacher’s approach a mix of K-Mag and Grosjean’

Sam Cooper
Gary Gannon speaks to Mick Schumacher on the side of the track. (Photo: Haas)

Haas race engineer speaks to Mick Schumacher before a race (Photo: Haas)

Mick Schumacher’s approach to a race weekend has been described by his race engineer as a mix of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.

Gary Gannon has been one of Haas‘ race engineers since 2016 and during that time, he has worked with three of the drivers to have had a permanent seat in the car.

His current driver, Schumacher, is in only his second season of the sport while his former colleagues Magnussen and Grosjean were much more experienced when they arrived at the team.

Speaking to PlanetF1.com, Gannon said Schumacher was halfway between Grosjean and Magnussen in terms of how he goes about a race weekend.

“Their approaches are all different,” Gannon said. “They are all really good to work with and very constructive, but they all have different needs and interests.

“Romain was very interested in the set-up and the technical details and very minute information. Kevin was much more interested in the overall approach for the weekend. He liked to have lots of running time.

“Whereas Romain wanted to make a set-up change every run, Kevin wanted lots of running time to get used to the car and he would just improve by running the same car over and over. Mick’s probably somewhere in the middle.


What Mick Schumacher was first like on an F1 grid

“He understood it all but when we did the first race, it was like ‘who, what happens now?’”

“He’s technically very interested in how we are approaching with the set-up. But also, because he’s a younger driver, then he benefits a lot from just lots of running. Even if we don’t get the set-up perfect, we benefit more from him being on track.”

Racing drivers can sometimes be known for their attitude, especially when it comes to constructive criticism, but Gannon said this is not the case with the 23-year-old.

“Mick as a young driver is very receptive to our driving feedback,” he explained. “We have an engineer who analyses all the video and GPS and gives lots of really constructive feedback to the drivers.

“Mick’s very open to that, he’s not threatened by the concept that he should be driving a corner differently. So that’s really a positive. Mick is younger than the other guys (Magnussen and Grosjean). They were kind of experienced by the time they came to us.

“So with Mick, it’s kind of like a little group that he really trusts and relies on us to give him good information. It’s a nice little atmosphere we have but I’ve enjoyed working with all three of these guys, really good drivers and people. But just a very positive environment all the time with him.”