Former Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean has told Haas driver Mick Schumacher to relax and stop trying to achieve the results team-mate Kevin Magnussen was getting at the start of the season.
Schumacher has twice been involved in scarily big crashes this year – first in Jeddah and then in Monaco, blowing a whole through the team’s damage repair budget for the year.
The German is still awaiting his first points in the pinnacle of motorsport having signed with the American team last season, but he has watched as Magnussen managed points in three of the opening four rounds of the season, putting pressure on the 23-year-old to finish a race in the top 10.
Not all of his misfortune has been self-inflicted; he was running in the top 10 having qualified sixth in Canada before a power unit issue meant that he went 31 race entries without scoring a point.
In 2018, Haas enjoyed their best-ever season in F1. They pushed Renault hard in the battle for fourth in the Constructors’ Standings as Magnussen scored points 11 times, but a series of errors meant that Grosjean did not score until the ninth round of the season in Austria.
The Frenchman claimed P4 there, and would go on to add another six top 10 results as he eventually settled down and found his feet.
Naturally, as with the team’s debut season in 2016, their pace fell away as factory team Renault out-developed the less wealthy Banbury-based outfit and, Magnussen’s best race result since Bahrain was a P9 in both Saudi Arabia and Imola.
As a result, scoring 10 or more points every weekend is going to be more difficult now that Alpine and McLaren have found some more consistency, so Schumacher needs to be patient and rediscover the form that won him the 2020 Formula 2 title.
“He [Schumacher] has to get back on track and on his feet,” Grosjean told GPFans.
“He has been having some rough races recently. I think the car is not helping because the car is going a little bit backwards.
“He probably wants to do what Kevin did earlier in the season with fifth-place finishes and some points but right now the car cannot do it because there haven’t been any updates on it.”
Grosjean spent five years at Haas from the start of 2016 to the end of 2020, so he has plenty of experience of being swallowed up by the rest of the midfield when they start spending money on upgrades.
“That is very typical for Haas, you start well and go backwards, I know too well,” added the Frenchman.
“If you try to go for fifth, like Mick would try to go now and score some points then absolutely, you start making mistakes and that is what happens.
“So, take your time and sometimes slower is faster.”
Schumacher remains 19th in the Drivers’ Standings ahead only of Nico Hulkenberg – who stood in for Sebastian Vettel a Aston Martin for the opening two rounds of the year – and Williams driver Nicholas Latifi.