Haas engineers ‘motivated’ by Mick’s strong work ethic

Date published: October 20 2021 - Henry Valantine

Mick Schumacher grabs his helmet. Istanbul October 2021.

Haas’ chief race engineer has said the attitude Mick Schumacher brings to the team motivates those around him, as well as himself.

Ayao Komatsu added that the young German is always trying to find ways to get better race by race, saying that his “self-critical” nature contributes to a positive working environment, rather than getting himself down by what has gone wrong.

Even though the team has struggled all season long, Komatsu says the Haas engineers and Schumacher are working well together, which is of mutual benefit for both driver and team.

“I think Mick works really hard,” he said, quoted by Motorsport.com. “Whether he has a good weekend or bad weekend, he’s really self-critical, in a good way.

“He’s always looking for areas to improve. When he’s talking about ‘okay, I’ve done this wrong, I need to improve this’, it doesn’t actually depress him. It just gives him more extra motivation. So he’s always looking at himself as well as other things he can influence.

“He also works really hard with his engineers, and they are motivated by Mick’s attitude as well. So it works both ways.”

Team principal Guenther Steiner said Schumacher’s run to Q2 in Turkey helped instil extra confidence within the team, as positives from the season have been few and far between.

And for Haas’ chief engineer, the progress the rookie has made over the course of the season has been continuous, and ensures that everything about race weekends – positive and negative – are debriefed properly.

“He’s constantly learning and improving, and absorbing every single time,” Komatsu said. “There’s some weekends where he did a crash in a free practice session, and that had an impact on his qualifying performance, etc.

 

“Sometimes we sit down straight away, sometimes we talk about it a week later, or at the next event, but we never leave things unsaid or not looked at.

“And he works very closely with his engineers, plus I work closely with him as well, in terms of the philosophy of how you approach the weekend, what we’ve done wrong, and what was the mindset for making certain things happen, either positive or negative.

“We try to put more positives together for the future weekends. So I can’t really pinpoint one weekend where he made a step. I think he is just constantly looking for the improvements.”