“Big talent” Schumacher would be an asset to Haas – Magnussen

2021 F1 Season

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Mick Schumacher has been tipped by Haas driver Kevin Magnussen to thrive at the team if he makes his Formula 1 debut with them next year.

Haas has previously confirmed Magnussen and team mate Romain Grosjean will not be retained for the 2021 F1 season.

Speaking on the In The Pink podcast, Magnussen said he was impressed by Schumacher but isn’t sure what team owner Gene Haas and team principal Guenther Steiner have planned for the team next year.

“I think depending on who they announce, there are some young drivers out there that really are good drivers. I think Schumacher has got to be on the list. I don’t know these things, neither Guenther or Gene tell me any of this but I’m assuming that Schumacher is on the list. I’ve met him and talked to him and he seems like a very bright young lad and obviously he’s a big talent, he’s leading the F2 championship and driving brilliantly.

Magnussen has three races left at Haas
“So I think he, certainly, is going to be good, whatever he brings in terms of deals with him. I’m sure just in the driving and his his ability, I think he’s going to be great for the team.”

Magnussen’s team mate Grosjean has said “financial reasons” explain why the team is replacing both its drivers. Haas, a Ferrari engine customer, may be able to agree more favourable terms with its supplier by running Schumacher, a Ferrari Driver Academy member.

Schumacher is widely expected to be confirmed at Haas before the end of the Formula 2 season. His team mate is tipped to be F2 rival Nikita Mazepin, who brings substantial backing courtesy of his billionaire father Dmitry.

But Magnussen dismissed suggestions he and Grosjean are losing their seats to ‘pay drivers’.

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“It’s really difficult to define a pay driver because I think all drivers bring with them some sort of commercial value,” he said. “There are drivers that just pay a cheque and then get their seats, there’s some drivers that families have money and they can buy teams and really go flat-out like that.

Drivers, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020
2021 F1 drivers and teams
“But I think all drivers, even the very good ones, bring with them some sort of commercial value, whether it be partners that the drivers have, that then follow them into the teams and support the teams if the driver is the right one.

“Whoever sits in the other car, I think they they will need someone that brings some sort of package with him and I don’t know who that’s going to be. It would surely be better if you have some experience but I think there’s some young drivers, Schumacher included, that could make up for that and get on top of it quickly.”

Magnussen said the value of a driver in F1 is trickier to define than in other sports, where contracts have transfer value. “I think it’s tough when the driver is responsible for such a big part of the commercial package. In football it works easier because the players are owned by the clubs and the clubs buy them off each other and they go on loans to other clubs.

“So you know that you have a value as a player; if you are in a club, then that club will have to sell you to another club because you are a value, an asset for them. So that’s not how it works in Formula 1, unfortunately. But that will never change. That’s how it is, motorsport is difficult in that way.”

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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17 comments on ““Big talent” Schumacher would be an asset to Haas – Magnussen”

  1. Magnussen makes a good point about the definition of paid drivers being blurred, commercial value can be had through many different means. That being said, commercial value slowly acquired by merit probably garners more respect that commercial value through a sponsor or a familial tie but there you go.

    Is there any driver on the grid at
    the moment purely on their driving skills?

    1. Yes, just look at how signing Vettel arguably paid for itself because it immediately boosted the AM stocks!

      1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        19th November 2020, 9:30

        AML shares are giving me grey hairs, they’re up and down like a tart’s drawers.

        1. Agreed! So volatile… I’m thinking that waiting it out until I’m a millionaire or broke is probably the best option.

    2. Agree. A ‘good’ argument could be made that Alonso was one of the biggest paydrivers in the sport, as he brought Santander sponsorship to Ferrari (and they even paid Kimi not to drive in F1 in 2010). Then again, Alonso was there also on talent, not just because of the money.

  2. Mag was always straight forward, no bull. Can’t imagine a bigger contrast to a team mate…

  3. Smart decision to bring new life and new hope for Haas. Mik-Shum should create massive interest unlike what this team has so far. If this kids promise and a better car right off the bat could dramatically change things at Haas. It’s one of the best news story for 2021.

  4. I’ll miss the straight-talking no BS Kevin “Suck My Balls” Magnussen.

  5. Magnussen’ si just done the cleanest explanation of pay-drivers or just racing drivers.
    He knows about the family stuff due to his dad’s connections and about sponsorship with Jack & Jones. A good fait bloke.

    As for Mick Schumacher, he hasn’t been stellar yet but let’s give him a chance.

  6. Jose Lopes da Silva
    19th November 2020, 12:59

    For Mick Schumacher it will be great to have Mazepin in the sister car.

    1. Shady business behind Mazepin and the money he brings – that is sad, not something we should applaud.

      1. You would think, of all teams, Haas would have learned there lesson about shady business/ sponsor/ money…

      2. Jose Lopes da Silva
        19th November 2020, 15:16

        I think Mick Schumacher is average and did not show more than other F2 champions like Nick de Vries. Mazepin is a second Stroll nightmare and another signal that the sport aspect is going down the drain.

        1. That’s the exact premise for him to keep Haas afloat. He brings attention in the form of Money. Plus he is ripe to jump to F1. It’s a win win win for Haas and the other kid being talked about sounds like he brings baggage. But does he too bring money? F1 will rid itself if the Haas number two is another trouble maker.
          The purpose of Haas is to find drivers for the Redcar team. If the lineup for 2021 proves to be strong then Haas becomes an incubator for future Ferrari drivers. Saves the Redcar team time and money.
          So Gene you look to be getting MicSchum next season. Make the best of this opportunity. Haas my become a worry to other teams instead of playing games with Williams as is the current state of affairs

  7. Mick Schumacher has certainly earned his way into F1 whether or not he wins the championship this year. He gets results. Pressure doesn’t get to him. I don’t think he has the raw pace or raw talent of his father but no-one has. Could make an argument he handles pressure better than his father given the incredible pressure Mick has faced and come through. He doesn’t put a foot wrong when the pressure ramps up in a season. This guy races with more pressure than any young driver because of his surname.

    Always conducts himself with class. No bleating or abuse on the radio.

    Guy has a real presence about him. It’s because of who is father is/was, but the looking at him he’s more Schumacher than Michael. Hard to explain.

    1. Yes, it’s a damn shame schumacher is likely not in the condition to properly see his son’s career, trying to emulate one of the best drivers of all times who was also your father, doesn’t happen to everyone.

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