“I don’t agree”: How Schumacher lobbied for team orders throughout sprint race

2022 Austrian Grand Prix

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Mick Schumacher felt Haas compromised their performance during Saturday’s sprint race in Austria by not swapping the running order of their drivers.

The Haas drivers ran sixth and seventh at the start, Schumacher trailing Kevin Magnussen. From an early stage in the race Schumacher urged race engineer Gary Gannon to arrange for his team mate to let him by.

After several such messages, Schumacher was told no swap would be arranged. In the final laps of the race Schumacher lost the final points-scoring position to Lewis Hamilton.

“I think I had the pace to be in front,” a disappointed Schumacher told media after yesterday’s race. He first suggested the team let him by Magnussen as the pair pursued Esteban Ocon in the opening laps. “That’s something to look really for my understanding why we didn’t switch positions, because I felt like I could have attacked Esteban.”

Magnussen felt the two Haas drivers could have swapped positions without making them more vulnerable to the pursuing cars. “I think it was do-able without any doubt because I had to, halfway down the straight already, lift to [not] get in trouble with braking.”

After Sergio Perez passed the pair of them, the Haas drivers spent several laps repelling Hamilton. “In some ways I was saving [Magnussen] from the attack from Lewis,” said Schumacher. At one stage he fell away from his team mate and was no longer able to use his DRS, prompting him to ask the team to urge Magnussen to drop back within range. “I was actually hoping that he would drop back.”

However Schumacher believed he could keep Hamilton at bay until his rival finally broke through with three laps to go.

“I knew it was going to be tough especially when my tyres kind of wore off,” said Schumacher. “But I felt that his tyres were also not in great shape.

“Also his energy level didn’t seem great. So I was actually hopeful that I could come back but then obviously his energy recovered and my tyres didn’t.”

Despite his frustration over the team’s strategy, Schumacher was thrilled by the chance to fight with drivers from two of the top teams. “It’s quite incredible, to be able to be fighting with Mercedes and Red Bull,” he said, though he added: “I think there was more in it.”

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Mick Schumacher’s radio messages in Austrian Grand Prix sprint race

Schumacher reported contact from Perez immediately after the start of the race, but his team told him his car was in good condition:

SchumacherI think Perez hit me in the rear.
GannonOkay we’re checking everything, pressure is okay for now.
GannonPressures still okay, loads still okay, you’re 0.6 ahead of Perez.

While under pressure from Perez, Schumacher told his team more than once that he was losing pace because he was running behind Magnussen. The team kept the drivers in the same order, and Perez eventually passed Schumacher, who exclaimed in frustration:

SchumacherWhy is Kevin blocking?
GannonHe’s still racing Ocon ahead.
SchumacherYeah, but I have Perez behind me.
GannonPerez 0.3 behind.
GannonPerez 0.4, you’re doing a good job.
GannonOkay Perez 0.5 behind.
SchumacherI’m getting into trouble with Kevin losing DRS here.
GannonOkay, understood, discuss.
SchumacherI’m quite a bit quicker with DRS.
GannonYeah understood, Mick, we’re talking it through.
GannonDoing a good job. Gap is still 0.5.
SchumacherPerez passes Schumacher
That’s exactly what I meant. I mean, fucking hell.
GannonIt’s alright, Mick, we’re still in a good position.

As Hamilton drew within range of Schumacher, he again asked for the chance to run in front of his team mate. This time the team gave him a clear refusal:

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GannonPerez passes Magnussen
Okay we’ll get in a rhythm here. So he’ll have DRS now, so we should be able to pick it up. We have Hamilton 1.1 behind.
GannonOkay Hamilton behind 0.5.
GannonPlease repeat. Please repeat.
SchumacherCan I get the clean air?
SchumacherMy tyres just need a breather.
GannonOkay. We can’t swap, Mick, just keep going, keep doing what you’re doing. Just a little lift-and-coast if you think the tyres are on the limit.
SchumacherIt’s just like I…
GannonIt’s all right. You’re doing a good job. Just do a little lift-and-coast to take some edge off. You’re doing a good job.

Despite the team’s earlier messages, Schumacher told them again he was quicker. For several laps he successfully repelled Hamilton, but after slowing at the apex of turn three as he foiled one attempt, he fell too far behind Magnussen to be able to use his DRS.

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GannonGood job, Mick. Hamiltn is 0.6 behind, Kevin’s 0.9 ahead.
SchumacherYeah but I’m quicker than Kevin.
GannonMick, you’re doing a very good job in this situation. Keep doing what you’re doing. Stay focussed, you’re 0.8 behind and 0.5 ahead. Doing a good job.
GannonEight laps to go, 0.8 ahead, 0.5 behind.
GannonSeven to go, 0.5 behind, you’re managing incredibly well.
GannonSix to go, 0.9 ahead, 0.3 behind.
GannonSOC five. SOC five.
GannonFive laps to go, you’re doing a great job, hang in there, 0.8 ahead, 0.4 behind.

As the threat from Hamilton loomed ever greater, now Schumacher changed his request to Haas, asking Magnussen to back off so he could draw back within DRS range. The team discussed it, but not in time to prevent Hamilton passing Schumacher:

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GannonEB4, EB4 for Understeer.
GannonFour laps to go, you’re 0.5 ahead, he’s got Bottas in his DRS.
SchumacherTell Kevin to slow down so I can get DRS.
GannonUnderstood. Understood.
GannonWorking on it, Mick, doing a great job.
GannonThree laps to go. 1.5 ahead, 0.4 behind.

Schumacher finished out of the points, and made his dissatisfaction clear to the team. Team principal Guenther Steiner, however, was pleased with the result:

GannonHamilton passes Schumacher
Two laps to go at the line, get him back.
GannonSOC one, SOC one.
GannonEB5 starting last lap, 1.1 ahead, 0.6 behind.
GannonCheckered flag Mick, checkered flag.
GannonGood racing, Mick, we’ll use it tomorrow.
SchumacherI don’t agree, like, seriously.
GannonWe’ll talking about it back here.
SchumacherYeah we’ll talk about it.
GannonYou did a good job.
SteinerGood job Mick, the team made two points. Good job. Thank you.

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2022 Austrian Grand Prix

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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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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18 comments on ““I don’t agree”: How Schumacher lobbied for team orders throughout sprint race”

  1. I seen the interview, he looks upset. He really think he deserves to be the team priority did he? This is why F1 community should not make a fuss of everything this kid do. He’s getting delusional.

    1. How are you supposed to react if you’re doing the teamwork thing, but your teammate doesn’t return the favour, and you end up out of the points because of it?

      1. @proesterchen MAG is on record as saying he didn’t know MSC dropped out of DRS and by the time he was told, HAM had just overtaken.

        1. If that is so, that’s a clear blunder by the team.

          However which way you slice it, if you find yourself in Schumacher’s boots, it’s hard to imagine not feeling frustrated after having done “the team thing” but coming home with nothing to show for it.

          1. Sure, but being frustrated you weren’t waved past your team mate isn’t the same as being entitled to it. Haas had nothing to gain other than possibly paying a little more attention with DRS to try and keep Hamilton behind.

        2. Yes, I saw him saying that in an interview @kartguy07. Thing is, do we believe him when he does? Sorry, but I do not buy it.

          You can see how close the guy behind is, Schumacher dropped from about 6-8 tenths to 1,4 seconds, that is clearly visible in your mirrors. Magnussen was not racing anyone ahead, so he would have known as soon as he was on the main straight.

          Thing is, when we look back over the years, Kevin has never been much of a team player on track, fighting all his teammates quite hard and wanting to impress his dominance where possible.

  2. These comments from the Schumacher camp are unprofessional. They know that Mick was only a fraction faster than Kevin because Mick had DRS and Kevin not – as soon as Mick would have overtaken Kevin would have DRS and Mick not then Kevin would be faster and he would overtake mick again and they would both get in trouble with Lewis Hamilton with worn down tyres from their internal fight.

    1. Today Mick showed he had the pace to finish 2 places ahead @lars. How can we be sure he would not have had the pace yesterday as well.

      1. How can we be sure he would have had the pace when he could not even follow KMag at the end of the sprint race where Mick had DRS and KMag did not? KMag had engine problems at some point in todays race, unless you think the team is lying. In sports every day is different – Djokovic won Wimbledon today, a few months ago he lost the small tournament Beograd Open.

  3. Quite frankly, the result of the conveniently missing DRS-cover at the tail-end of the sprint shouldn’t just be the one lost point for the team, but for the drivers to disregard team orders on track position going forward.

    If you’re the one getting hosed by a lack of teamwork, you better take your chances on track.

  4. If he was that much quicker he could have tried an overtake. The truth is that he was only as quick as he thought because of DRS and K-Mag having to LICO

    1. At least 3 or 4 times he had the speed to attack from the inside but he didnt and lifted. That was good team spirit from Mick and i expected the same from Mag when he went more than 1 sec ahead.

      Haas is like Ferrari lol in racing strategy… if there is any strategy at all.

      1. @bluechris MAG is on record as saying he didn’t know MSC dropped out of DRS and by the time he was told, HAM had just overtaken.

        1. I suppose his mirrors are for aesthetical reasons.

          1. No, they’re largely for aerodynamics, but either way, you wouldn’t be able to judge if a car was 0.9 or 1.1 seconds behind you. That’s the team’s job.

  5. Apart from possibly being able to keep Hamilton behind if Schumacher hadn’t lost DRS, Haas already maximised their positions. Team orders to reverse those positions would not have made sense.

  6. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    10th July 2022, 12:21

    I thought he drove excellently but his attitude afterwards was unprofessional, unpleasant and unwarranted. Schumacher was only as close to Magnussen and felt he was quicker because of DRS – if they’d swapped then Magnussen would have been in the same position and they’d not have gone anywhere. The only thing Magnussen/Haas did wrong was dropping the DRS tow, and even then keeping it would have been dangerous and risked both positions.

    Also has to be said that Magnussen’s scored the lion’s share of Haas’s points while Schumacher’s been bringing the repair bills home so of the pair to ‘prioritize’ it made sense to leave Magnussen ahead. Schumacher scored his first points only last week, bit early to be demanding treatment.

  7. petebaldwin (@)
    10th July 2022, 13:17

    Unfortunately he was the car behind and had to play the team game. Perhaps they’d have kept Hamilton behind if Mick kept DRS but alternatively, if Hamilton found a way past, he’d have got both of them. Letting K-Mag scamper off with a couple of laps left allowed him to get clear of Hamilton which was clever.

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