Formula 1

Schumacher chassis change after big in-lap crash at Suzuka

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
1 min read

Mick Schumacher’s crash on his in-lap after the chequered flag in first practice at the Japanese Grand Prix prompted him to miss FP2 because he needed a new chassis.

The Haas Formula 1 driver badly damaged the front of his car in a crash at the end of FP1.

After doing a practice start when the session ended, Schumacher lost control halfway round his in-lap in the wet conditions, complaining of bad aquaplaning.

Haas confirmed shortly before the start of FP2 that Schumacher would not participate in the session because he needed a chassis change. Team-mate Kevin Magnussen finished FP2 – another fully-wet session like FP1 – in fifth place.

The crash comes at a very bad time for Schumacher who is at serious risk of losing his drive and falling off the F1 grid in 2023.

There has been a clear trajectory of improvement, albeit not by enough in qualifying, and he had eliminated the early-season crashes that prompted a public rebuke by team boss Guenther Steiner.

This crash, his first since a heavy one in the Monaco Grand Prix, revives that old concern at a time his raw pace has a big question mark over it, and there are known to be issues internally.

Haas is essentially picking between keeping Schumacher for next year or signing Nico Hulkenberg.

The 35-year-old is currently Aston Martin’s reserve driver and has not raced full-time in F1 since 2019 but is understood to be extremely hungry to return with Haas, which needs a dependable and fast driver to pair with Kevin Magnussen.

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