Schumacher slowest but ‘attitude was excellent’

Jon Wilde
Mick Schumacher Haas

Haas praised Mick Schumacher’s “excellent attitude” after the F2 champion was slowest of the 15 runners in the Abu Dhabi ‘young driver test’.

Schumacher was the only Haas driver taking part at Yas Marina, with his 2021 team-mate and fellow rookie Nikita Mazepin not in action.

Although the German completed the third highest number of laps, his best time was over 3.5 seconds down on the fastest set by Fernando Alonso in the Renault – who was given a special dispensation by the FIA to participate.

Nevertheless, Haas were pleased with what they had seen from the son of Michael Schumacher, the seven-time former World Champion, considering it had been comfortably his longest stint in the car.

“It was the first full day of Mick (Schumacher) being in the car. We really focused on him understanding the car and then adjusting the car balance to suit and to get the best out of Mick,” said Ayao Komatsu, Haas’ director of engineering.

“We really didn’t focus on one-lap performance or anything like that. We simply wanted to get him to understand various things like different fuel loads.

“We also focused on tyre management on high fuel runs. It was really good for Mick to experience long runs, both at high track temperature and towards the end of the day when track temperature was at its coolest. He was making lots of adjustments by himself and using the tools available to him.

“He completed 125 laps – his fitness was absolutely no problem. He completely understood the program in terms of what we wanted to achieve.

“He also did 11 starts from the F2 pit lane and his procedures improved as the day continued, to the point he was at a pretty good level.

“All in all we are very happy. His attitude was excellent, as was his understanding of the program, his understanding of the car and working with the engineers to improve his tyre management – it was excellent.”

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Schumacher added: “I feel pretty good. I’m very happy I managed to do so many laps – it’s not always a given in testing.

“We focused on a good amount of laps and a valuable amount of laps, which was very positive.

“The key point was just to understand the tyres a little more – for that, the long runs were very good. I think we achieved that and I now have a pretty good knowledge of what I need to do, although the tyres might be a bit different next year.

“I feel very comfortable and I know the team is happy, so that’s good.

“I really was so happy to be in the car and it was so much fun to drive. I’m really looking forward to next year.”

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