Rumoured to have just began talking with Haas about a new deal for next season, Mick Schumacher doubts his FP1 crash at Suzuka will have any bearing on contract talks.
Schumacher is out of contract with Haas at the end of this season, Guenther Steiner making it well known that he’s looking at all the options available to Haas including Daniel Ricciardo and super sub Nico Hulkenberg.
The Italian is in no rush, saying he wants to give Schumacher time.
But that time, unfortunately for the driver, also meant time for another big crash – his third of this season.
Schumacher lost it on his final lap in FP1 at the Suzuka circuit, aquaplaning off the sodden track and into the Turn 8 barrier.
While pundits were quick to point out that it could not have come at a worse time, the 23-year-old doesn’t believe Friday’s incident will be the deciding factor in whether or not he continues with Haas into 2023.
“I would be surprised if that were a factor for extending the contract,” he told Sky Deutschland.
“I mean, the performance is there.”
And it was, Schumacher seventh fastest in the rain.
“Pressure is something I’ve had to deal with for a long time, probably my whole life,” he added. “It doesn’t bother me and I always want to do my best.”
At a time where Mick Schumacher is fighting for his #F1 future, the last thing he needed was that heavy shunt at the end of FP1, ruling him out of FP2.
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) October 7, 2022
But however it plays out, it was without a doubt a costly accident for Haas.
His car suffered extensive damage, even requiring a new chassis, as well as floor, front wing and front and rear suspension.
Former F1 driver turned pundit Jolyon Palmer told F1TV that it was “all just a little unnecessary”, especially when Haas is one of the teams with a budget that’s still less than the cost cap.
“All teams will have a spare chassis at a grand prix for this instance, but with just a handful of races remaining Haas will have to make another one to have a spare for the future,” he explained.
“It’s going to eat into the budget, eat into the time, and it’s all just a little unnecessary.
“At this stage, especially if you are Haas and you’re on a smaller budget compared to some of the other teams, not every team is running up to the limit and Haas is one that wants to try save a little bit of budget at this season.
“They are going to have to dig deeper to fund a new chassis just to make sure they can race throughout all the next grands prix if there was another accident.”
Schumacher was back on track in Saturday’s third and final practice, finishing P16 with Kevin Magnussen P15.
Haas will line up on the Japanese Grand Prix grid P8 in the Constructors’ Championship, ahead of AlphaTauri but tied with them on 34 points.