Ralf Schumacher takes another jab at Guenther Steiner’s ‘good practices’

Michelle Foster
Nico Hulkenberg speaking with race engineer Gary Gannon. Miami May 2023

Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg speaking with race engineer Gary Gannon. Miami May 2023

Ralf Schumacher has delivered his latest jab at Guenther Steiner saying if Haas’ “good practices” are upheld, he expects to hear all about the cost of Nico Hulkenberg’s Miami crash.

It’s fair to say there’s no love lost between Schumacher and Steiner with the German blaming the team boss for his nephew Mick losing his race seat at the end of last season.

Having not scored a point in his first season on the F1 grid, Haas understanding that as they were using the season to prepare their rookie drivers for a 2022 assault on the midfield, Steiner’s patience with Schumacher seemed to run out midway through the 2022 season.

Recording his first big crash of the season in qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Steiner was caught on camera by Netflix airing his frustration.

“It is f***!” said the Italian. “Between half a million and a million I would say. F****** hell. Gave him a year to learn and what does he do in the second race? He f****** destroys the car just because the other one is faster.”

He had more to say after the German’s second big crash, that taking place in Monaco with the team boss responding to team owner Gene Haas’ “dead man walking” comment with a “if he doesn’t pull his trousers up, he will be soon.”

Haas began speaking with other drivers including Hulkenberg and opted to sign the 35-year-old for this year’s championship with Schumacher dropped from the team.

But with Hulkenberg into the wall in Friday’s first practice at the Miami Grand Prix, Schumacher just had to say something.

“If the team’s good practices are maintained, we will know tomorrow what the crash cost – and next year at the latest with the Netflix documentary we will know what is being thought about it,” Speedweek quotes the Sky Sports’ pundit as having said.

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Hulkenberg concedes his crash was a “bit unnecessary” with the driver saying he “wanted a bit too much too soon.

“It was my first time on this track and running wide there at Turn 3 is a little tricky. The crash was luckily not too bad.

“It seems like there’s one line where the grip is good, and if you go offline a little bit, the grip drops dramatically, and even later in the sessions there’s a lot of marbles offline.

“It’s quite a tricky and nasty track in that sense. Easy to get caught out.”

Steiner didn’t have much to say about the crash.

“The only little thing was Nico’s crash in FP1,” he said in the team’s Friday press release, “but the team did a fantastic job to get him out again for FP2.”

Hulkenberg’s team-mate Kevin Magnussen went onto score in the grand prix with the German down in 15th place.

“It was a tricky, difficult race and it didn’t quite pan out the way we wanted,” he said. “The start was alright, but I think we were having difficulties in traffic.

“When we’re surrounded by other cars we were struggling for consistency and for grip, which made it quite difficult for me today.

“That also translates to higher degradation so maybe not a good one but I still feel some valuable lessons were learned and good data collected.”