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Formula 1

Mick Schumacher’s inspection of his rivals’ F1 cars explained

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
3 min read

Haas rookie Mick Schumacher was filmed after the Styrian Grand Prix checking out rival teams’ Formula 1 cars in parc ferme.

It was reminiscent of his friend Sebastian Vettel assessing the cars and tyres of the opposition post-race.

But Schumacher, the son of seven-time F1 world champion Michael, revealed it is “something I’ve been doing since karting” rather than a trait picked up from Vettel – and he’s going to carry on doing it.

“It’s always good to know especially how the tyres of other cars look, to understand and learn from that,” said Schumacher.

“Because tyres are like an open book, they will show you every little mistake and every little detail of all the cars and also of my car.

“So inspecting other cars was always a part and I will for sure keep doing it.

“Because the parc ferme at the end is the closest I will get to another car.

“I cannot walk into anybody’s garage and just check out a part and then leave. So it’s a good place to look.”

Mick Schumacher

Schumacher is in a tough situation for his rookie season as his Haas team is uncompetitive.

Its 2020 car wasn’t developed in-season and this year’s is effectively a complete carry-over with the exception of work done to adapt to the new floor rules. The VF-21 is not being updated during the year either.

However, Schumacher has been impressive within the constraints of his circumstances.

“He does everything possible to keep the team motivated and gives them confidence that we will be in a better place” :: Guenther Steiner

He has comfortably outperformed fellow rookie and team-mate Nikita Mazepin, and been praised by the likes of Vettel for his on-track performances and his application off-track.

Inspecting rivals’ cars is one example of the effort Ferrari protege Schumacher is putting into his rookie year.

He said that Vettel’s interpretation that he is enjoying this season is correct, and that is helping him work harder because it is part of the fun.

“I’m relatively happy how it’s going,” Schumacher said. “Performance-wise it’s tough but nonetheless we managed to get our way around it, we work really well together.

“I do enjoy my time here, so much that it’s easy for me to come early to work and leave work late, just because it’s so enjoyable.

“It really reflects also in our performance. That’s really what what is important to me, the hard work will pay off at some point and it already does.”

Mick Schumacher

Schumacher’s efforts have also been appreciated by team boss Guenther Steiner.

Vettel suggested that Schumacher’s approach is galvanising Haas during a difficult period for the team and Steiner suggested that was true.

“I am impressed by his work ethic,” said Steiner. “He is working all the time on it.

“We appreciate it in these times, because this year we are where we are with the car.

Jul 04 : Austrian Grand Prix review

“He does everything possible to keep the team motivated and gives them the confidence as well that we will be in a better place going forward.

“I appreciate it a lot from him that he helps you doing that, and he is doing it as a young man. It is very respectable what he is achieving.

“He seems to be enjoying what he is doing. For him it’s not that he has to force himself. This is what he wants to do, and I respect that a lot.”

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