Sebastian Vettel says it is time for the media to stop hounding his struggling compatriot and friend Mick Schumacher.
After a solid rookie season in Formula 1 at Haas, Schumacher’s career trajectory has failed to move in a positive direction from there.
Haas cut ties with Nikita Mazepin ahead of the 2022 campaign, so after bringing Kevin Magnussen back into the fold, Schumacher was presented with an experienced and proven team-mate to test himself against.
So far that is proving to be a test which Schumacher cannot pass, Magnussen having scored 15 points across the opening seven rounds, while Schumacher is still waiting to get off the mark this season, and in Formula 1 in general.
Schumacher had shown recent signs of improvement, moving far closer to the standard being set by Magnussen, but at the Monaco Grand Prix he suffered his second huge and expensive crash of the season.
He would lose control of the Haas VF-22 at the entry to the Swimming Pool section, clipping the barrier before slamming into the Techpro as the car ripped in half. Schumacher fortunately was unhurt.
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“I’m feeling all right,” Schumacher told media personnel as he reflected on the crash. “Obviously it’s very annoying.
“I think in terms of pace we were definitely there. It’s just a matter of keeping it on track and unfortunately I wasn’t able to do that.
“The pace felt strong and it felt like we were able to attack and push.
“We just ended up being a little too wide, which is maybe a matter of 10cm at the end, and that was enough to lose all grip you thought you had.
“And unfortunately the result is as it happened.”
As previously mentioned though, this is not the first time that Schumacher has made a mess of the VF-22, the same happening back at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix during qualifying.
That being said, Vettel, who has acted as a mentor to Schumacher since he joined Formula 1, believes that the 23-year-old can and will improve, that is if the media cut him some slack.
“The most important thing is that he’s fine,” said Vettel of Schumacher’s Monaco crash, quoted by Motorsport-Total.com.
“I have no doubt that he can do more than he’s showing right now. But I think you have to leave him alone for a bit.”
Vettel scored a single point in Monaco for a P10 finish, the Aston Martin driver moving up a place when Esteban Ocon’s five-second penalty was applied, the Alpine driver picking that up for causing a collision with Lewis Hamilton.
“It was actually a clean race without any incidents,” said Vettel of his Monaco race. “And we got a point, which is not bad, because in Monaco it’s always difficult to work your way forward.
“When I consider how the race developed, I don’t think more would have been possible. Especially the first laps with the rain tyre were really difficult. That’s why we switched to the intermediate as early as possible.”
Aston Martin are yet to see any true benefit from their major upgrade package for the AMR22, introduced at the Spanish Grand Prix, the round before Monaco.
But Vettel said that Monaco was another learning experience which will set Aston Martin up for the coming races, starting with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
“We learned more about our car and how to optimise our set-up with the new parts we introduced in Barcelona,” said Vettel.
“All these steps put us on the right track for the next races.”