Mick Schumacher, Haas, Hungaroring, 2021

‘I’m still on a steep learning curve’, says Schumacher

2021 Formula 1 Season

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Mick Schumacher says he is getting more comfortable with being an F1 driver by the day in his rookie season, but admits he remains on a “very, very much steep learning curve”.

The Haas driver feels the first half of his rookie season has been “fairly positive”, but says he is still learning what it takes off track as well as on the circuit.

“Personally I feel like it went fairly positive,” Schumacher says of the opening half of his rookie season.

“I think that I managed to obviously steadily always improve and learn with every single grand prix. Obviously the steps, at some point, become smaller just because you maximise the most things in the beginning, because you learn with every grand prix a massive amount and then afterwards is basically fine tuning. So I definitely feel like I’m still on a very, very much steep learning curve, not only on track, but also off track.”

Schumacher currently sits 19th in the drivers’ championship, ahead only of his Haas team mate, Nikita Mazepin, having secured a season-best finish of 12th place last time out at the Hungarian Grand Prix. A pair of costly crashes in third practice at both the French and Hungarian Grands Prix have proved the low points of the first 11 races of his young F1 career.

Despite Haas openly admitting to have approached the 2021 season with all their focus on their 2022 challenger, Schumacher believes the team are heading in a positive direction as they look towards next season.

“I feel that with every day of the year, I feel more and more comfortable in every circumstance,” says Schumacher. “And that’s really good and it’s positive. And especially with the work that we’ve been doing with the team, it’s really heading into the right direction.”

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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...
Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 10 comments on “‘I’m still on a steep learning curve’, says Schumacher”

    1. Bit puzzled what to expect from Schumacher tbh. Formula 2 champion kind of indicates a smooth transition into F1 in my expectations, rather than the teams and Ferraris positioning as ‘learning ground environment’. Then again the car must be horrible to drive. It’s not like Lewis or Max first car when they stepped up to F1 level. So overall, I will have to take his word for it. Looking forward to his future and seeing him in the mix upfront in one of those red cars.

      1. Yes, you need to compare him to russell, who joined f1 with a horrible car, or maybe leclerc, but his car was a bit more decent if I recall.

        1. I think Russell has been way underrated and needs to be given a fair shot driving a fast car in F1 before people pan his ability.
          If you look at Russell’s only year in F2, he was blazing fast starting in his very first F2 race getting 5th, in his 2nd race he won! Then he didn’t stop there and kept winning often and won the F2 Championships very convincingly. Lando finished 2nd but 68 points behind Russell and Lando barely beat Albon and Nyck de Vries by only a handful of points. (side note: Lando has been doing awesome in F1)

          Russell had accumulated more WC F2 points (287) in one season than any other F2 champion in the (short) history of the series and he also accrued the biggest point spread between 1st and 2nd place (Lando). Charles Leclerc has the second most of points won (249pts).
          Russell also convincingly won the F3 world championships the year before.

          1. The Russell ‘situation’ needs to be fixed. Bottas performance this year just might make it happen. New 2022 rules help too. Toto wont be sure he will remain the dominant position in ’22 and he has seen this year what it means if nr2 no longer easily follows the star to a nr 2 finish position. I am not sure though what is in HAM contract on his team mate. I suspect he has more power than indicated, since a lot the Merc team says turns out to be untrue.

      2. Max didn’t go through the formula ranks. He pretty much went from karting to F3 (for 1 season) and then into Formula 1.

        Mick has gone from a pretty decent F2 car to a Haas and I think has been over driving the car in order to get the best possible results possible for him.

    2. I have to say I was a bit skeptical when he entered F2 and perhaps it was a gift and the press over hyping him because of his last name, on top of sport agents, team managers, race organizers and sponsors salivating at the chance of getting the legendary last name back in F1. There was a lot of hype!

      However, watching him throughout his F2 season (first season) convinced me that he commands ability to be a very talented open wheel driver with high ability to learn, ability to make mature decisions on the track and ability to follow through a race strategy and use his driving skills/tactics to accomplish the set strategy.
      Beginning of the season, he showed typical first season rookie mistakes and only getting mid group finishes while his teammate on Prema, Shwartzman was leading the championship points and destined to F1. Then around mid season, Schu started to greatly improve and make way less mistakes; he started figuring out tire deg and the car. and showed he was much more comfortable in the car by pushing it hard. By the end of the season he was clearly out starting anyone on pole position or anyone near him (when having a bad quali) and doing it regularly. He then really came into his own by saving his tires, avoiding contact while able to pass cars when the others were losing their tires, I think on avg. he was the best at passing and gaining positions on the last laps, scoring crucial points and earning the F2 world championships.

      I’ve regularly been watching every season of F2 since it started in 2016, there’s been drivers in previous season who did very well and one, usually on their second season. To me Schumacher made the best impression of a young junior rookie driver learning how to drive the cars, his growth in maturity and his learning curve was miraculous steep during in his first season F2 to the point of winning that he won the Championship and I will be very curious how he does once given a worthy car that will allow him to play the chess game in F1 and mix it up with accomplished veteran drivers. So far. it appears a lot of them are already giving him high marks and impressed by his progress. Let’s hope that it continues!

      1. PS> My apologies for not proof reading well enough to catch my grammatical errors and typos.

      2. Coventry Climax
        21st August 2021, 15:14

        And did you get to kiss him yet?
        Couldn’t disagree more. He failed to impress in all of the previous classes he took part in, and fails to impress now in F1.
        “I’m still on a steep learning curve” is another way of saying he’s not going up that curve very fast, contrary to how fast the real talents rise. First years show exactly that, the ability to learn fast. There’ve been so many examples of drivers starting in awful cars, at the very back, yet managing to impress almost immediately and constantly, and turning out to be championship material. Mick is not one of them.

    3. Both Teams and fans put a lot of pressure on the rookies, we cannot expect them to be a Kimi or Max,

      People take time to adapt (normally) and this needs to be accepted.

      Honestly I feel the first year for all rookies should never be considered to rate their skill.

    4. I’ve seen a lot of rookies over a lot of years, and so far have failed to be even remotely impressed by Mick.

      Perhaps I’m being harsh on him given he’s driving a Haas, but his performances seem a bit meh, compared to the rookie seasons of the likes of Ocon & Wherlein (who drove an equally bad car) or Russel (also in a bad car). Seems more Latifi level than a Russel.

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