Mick Schumacher is not completely satisfied with the first half of his rookie Formula 1 season and is targeting an improvement.
The reigning Formula 2 champion and Ferrari Driver Academy member landed a seat with Haas for 2021, marking his debut in Formula 1, but it has not been smooth sailing.
The task facing Haas in their recovery quest is a tall one, with the American-owned outfit slipping to the back of the grid and still waiting for a first point of the season.
But some pointed to how Haas’ woes were actually a blessing for Schumacher, allowing him to quietly learn the ropes in Formula 1 away from all of the pressure which follows his surname.
And while he has gone about establishing himself as the better-performing driver over Nikita Mazepin, Schumacher nonetheless has attracted the spotlight with several major crashes during his opening 11 races.
The most recent one came in Hungary, with that shunt forcing Schumacher to miss qualifying.
Therefore, Schumacher understandably rates his opening efforts in Formula 1 as “average”.
“I think average. I’m not quite satisfied yet with how the first half went,” he told Bild.
“That’s kind of part of the rookie year. My ambitions, of course, are to do my best and get the ‘A’. But I still have to work for that.”
Schumacher did, however, get his chance at redemption come race day in Hungary, with damp conditions and a pair of multi-car crashes ahead opening the door for a major gain of positions.
Twice during that eventful race Schumacher found himself battling with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who had sustained major bodywork damage in one of those early crashes.
There was no yielding from Schumacher, who made sure Verstappen had to earn his overtake. This, Schumacher said, was the perfect battle to remind Haas of what it means to fight and defend a position.
“That was very instructive. It was very good for us to be in the duel, to feel what it’s like to be in the middle of the fight and defend your own position,” he said.