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Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel believes Mick Schumacher’s ability to stay “calm” and keep “motivated” at Haas highlights what an impressive future he could have in Formula One.
The Ferrari academy driver has spent his first season in an underperforming Haas car, after the team admitted they were putting all their focus into their 2022 campaign with significant changes on the horizon.
“It’s very difficult with the car,” the Aston Martin driver told Sky Germany. “Everyone knows that it is the weakest car in the field.
“And still to stay calm and show the consistency and also the motivation… We are in communication more often and I think he has pushed the whole team, even if the starting position is not easy.”
The American outfit is almost certain to finish 10th in the Constructors’ Championship, with no points on the board for 2021.
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But team principal Guenther Steiner is confident things will pick up next season.
“I think the budget cap, for sure, has a lot to do with it because if there wouldn’t be a budget cap, the big teams would have parallel developed this year’s car, next year’s car,” Steiner said. “I think it’s a combination of the runs in the wind tunnel, they are limited and the CFD calculation time is limited. I think in general the playing field is more levelled out.
“We started off knowing that with this car there was no point to invest anything [in 2021] as the car wasn’t good in ‘19. Last year we stopped development completely, so to put a lot of investment – not only money, but also people – it’s not something you want to do because even with a good job you’re still in the lower midfield at the maximum, so we decided to go full out for next year. Hopefully that pays off.”
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Schumacher suffered his first retirement in Formula One at the Russian Grand Prix, after an impressive run of consistency.
“It seems like it’s an engine problem,” Schumacher said. “We were trying to fix it out on track but unfortunately we didn’t manage to.
“It is what it is, we live and we learn and obviously it’s Formula One so things can happen.
“It’s my first retirement this year, I was secretly hoping it would take some more time and maybe not even happen at all this year, but it’s part of the game.
“I think up to then we were very good in terms of pace, the car felt really good out there, so lots of positives to take away.
“I think starting on the dirty side definitely made it that much harder for us to get a good start. Then being in the mix, trying to find a good spot I got sandwiched in the middle and I think clipped Antonio’s car.
“So unfortunate, but I think that the pace was there. We probably would have managed to get closer to the cars ahead but if we would have overtaken them. So we’ll just take the positives again, analyse them and move on to Turkey now.”
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