First practice outing for Haas was “a hell of a ride” – Schumacher

2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Mick Schumacher said his postponed first official practice run in a Formula 1 car gave him a valuable opportunity to experiment with driving techniques.

The Formula 2 champion was supposed to make his debut in a practice session at the Eifel Grand Prix in October with Alfa Romeo. However he was unable to participate as poor visibility conditions meant the medical helicopter could not fly, and the sessions were not started.

Two months later, Schumacher finally took part in his first practice session today with Haas, the team he will race for in the 2021 F1 season.

“Everything went well,” declared Schumacher after finishing his hour-and-a-half of running in 18th place. “I’m really happy about how the session went. No major issues on either side so I’m really happy.”

Schumacher finally got his chance to join in practice
He drove Kevin Magnussen’s car in the first practice session but the team is yet to decide which of its engineering crews will work with each of its two new drivers for the 2021 F1 season. Schumacher’s team mate will be his Formula 2 rival Nikita Mazepin.

Schumacher said he was “quite direct” in his feedback to the team. “I might not have experience in an F1 car as much as some other people do,” he admitted, “nevertheless I’ve been told it’s good to give good feedback on anything I do notice. So from that part I think everything went well. It was a hell of a ride, it was really fun and great to be back in a Formula 1 car.”

Schumacher had his first experiences of practice starts and race simulation runs during the session.

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“The high-fuel run was quite different to everything I have done before,” he explained. “Up to now I’ve only driven an F1 car on low fuel. So it definitely was valuable information, the time in the car, trying to feel how much can I brake at the same spot, how much can I still push on those soft tyres too.

“The practice start [also] went really well for what was my first actual practice start in an F1 car. So I’m definitely very happy.”

He owned up to a few minor mistakes as he experimented with different driving techniques. “Obviously you have to sometimes go over the limit to feel where the limit is,” said Schumacher. “To me, it was more about trying little things.”

He said he had “a small moment at turn one after pushing on the softs” but “it wasn’t too dramatic”.

“It was just really trying to see what the car could still do. And then other moments were just me trying some different features on driving style but also on the car itself.

“I’m sure that I’ll find my way through much, much easier and also be able to maybe go more over the limit to try and find it [better] in the junior drive on Tuesday.”

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2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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4 comments on “First practice outing for Haas was “a hell of a ride” – Schumacher”

  1. And the Story begins……

  2. Is a victory even plausible in fifty races with this team?? One hundred ???

    With Ferrari bits it better happen sooner than the numbers above. But it’s a nonwinning team with a big name zero F1 experience driver and a foot inside the doors at Ferraris “this n that” department.
    It’s very intriguing. But nothing really shows any kind of breakthrough even with what little they have accomplished.I guess they’ve got to find the ton of luck. I’m all for it because it’s got some America in it and no longer the nonsense America lead by Mr Nonsense. An American Grand Prix Car with the Son of the great one and a Ferrari Formula One engine.

    Finally a rilmerican racer

  3. Meh, certainly didnt star on debut likely some journalists were hoping for. Gonna be a dissapointing year for HAAS in 2021, they are on a downward trajectory and now have 2 average rookies that also have to learn the ropes.

    1. Mick will keep them upwards, but Nikita might keep them downwards.

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