Mick ‘surprised’ by Verstappen’s hard Silverstone defence

Henry Valantine
Mick Schumacher behind Max Verstappen. Silverstone July 2022.

Mick Schumacher firmly on the tail of Max Verstappen towards the end of the race. Silverstone July 2022.

Mick Schumacher said he was “expecting something different” while racing wheel-to-wheel with Max Verstappen at Silverstone, given the rules of engagement that were put in place at the start of 2022.

The Haas driver fought hard with the reigning World Champion towards the end of the British Grand Prix, trying to overtake on several occasions, with Verstappen defending P7 for all his worth.

Schumacher tried a move on Verstappen around the outside of the Vale chicane at Silverstone, but the Red Bull driver defended and the Haas driver went off track to avoid a collision.

He also looked to put his car down the inside of Verstappen at the final corner of the final lap at Club, but backed out when the Dutchman cut back to take his racing line.

The FIA introduced new racing guidelines at the start of 2022 after some hard-fought exchanges that saw drivers forced off track at times in combat last year.

The rules clarified that drivers defending must give “sufficient room to an overtaking car” if “a significant portion” is alongside them, while an overtake must be done “in a safe and controlled manner, while enabling the car to remain within the limits of the track.”

Schumacher hinted he did not feel this was the case while racing Verstappen, but admitted he could have done more to get his elbows out and attack harder.

“I probably was expecting something different just because of the rules that were set in place at the beginning of the year, and so then I was a bit like surprised to see that,” he told Sky F1 ahead of the weekend.

“But again, I could have probably been more harsh as well, in some ways, but there was no need for it because I’d rather take the four points than no points.”

Schumacher finally broke his points duck in Formula 1 at Silverstone though, finishing eighth behind Verstappen, and he admitted his relief at getting off the mark for the season.

There have been some near misses this year, but he said he and Haas getting through the weekend without issues was a significant part of his success.

“I think we always had the key. It was just sometimes we fell into a trap and then we didn’t really get out of it,” he explained.

“So yeah, I think it was good to just have a clean weekend, score some points because I needed to get away from all that media question and attention on that side, and just now be able to focus on a good weekend and hopefully more points.”


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