Mick Schumacher is prepared not to get a taste of driving the new Haas until he takes to the track for pre-season testing in Barcelona.
Although Haas are thought to have begun work on their 2022 car before any other team, they do not have a simulator with which to try out their new challenger – leaving Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin without an opportunity to get representative running before the first test in late February.
Schumacher said previously he has enjoyed having input into the set-up direction of the new Haas, and despite not being able to drive it in anger just yet the young German is ready for the challenge.
“It will be new and I’m looking forward to it,” Schumacher said in an interview with Auto Motor und Sport.
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) January 11, 2022
“Not at the moment,” he added when asked if he has had the chance to drive a version of the 2022 car.
“We don’t have our own simulator at the moment. But that should change for next year. I think I will only drive the car for the first time at the Barcelona test.”
The 2022 car specification has been designed with the intention of closing the gap throughout the whole field and enabling closer racing between the teams.
But despite his optimism that this may be the case at the start of the season, Schumacher predicts the bigger teams will ease away from the rest of the midfield as the year goes on.
“The hope is that everyone will be closer together and you can race against each other. Maybe that will be the case at the beginning,” he said.
“In the end, the usual teams will pull away again. The question is by how much.”
Having started their 2022 development so early, Haas accepted they would lack pace last season as they focused on the radical regulation changes coming for the new campaign.
While they hope to get a jump on their rivals for the early part of 2022, Schumacher is unsure as to the amount of progress they will have made relative to those around them.
“The big question is how much that will bring us. But the other teams don’t have dummies working for them either,” he said.
“They know where things are going. We have to wait and see. Hopefully, we have something on the car that will give us a small advantage, at least in the beginning.”
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