Guenther Steiner’s brilliant response to Toto Wolff’s Mick Schumacher disrespect claim

Haas boss Guenther Steiner faced heavy criticism for how he treated former driver Mick Schumacher.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has responded to comments made by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, after the Silver Arrows team principal stated that Steiner would’ve treated Mick Schumacher differently had Michael Schumacher been around.

The seven-time World Champion is the father of the Mercedes reserve driver, who was forced out of Haas at the end of 2022 following a two-year spell.

Schumacher was dropped by Haas due to his contract having not been extended, after the Americans opted for the experienced Nico Hulkenberg.

Steiner in particular faced huge waves of criticism for how he treated the young German, with some comments having been heard during the recent series of his Netflix docuseries ‘Drive to Survive’.

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Wolff has been a firm defender of Schumacher and stated to Blick that Steiner “would not have dared to treat Mick like that” had Michael been around.

Steiner recently responded to Wolff’s comments, by bringing up his own father.

“What I have to say is, if my father would have been around Toto wouldn’t have said the things he said,” Steiner told Sky Sports.

Whilst many were disappointed to see Schumacher leave Haas, Hulkenberg has done an incredible job since replacing him.

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The 35-year-old has already claimed six points this season and is outperforming Kevin Magnussen, who in return outperformed Schumacher last season.

Schumacher’s overall issue last season was consistency, with the German having also made far too many mistakes.

He infamously crashed heavily in Saudi Arabia and at Monaco, with both crashes having resulted in his car breaking in half.

For a team like Haas, affording the repairs is a real struggle, with an experienced line-up being what they needed in order to spend less on damage.

As well as this, Steiner believes Schumacher’s family didn’t help the situation, with Steiner having felt like the famous family were trying to “blame all the team”.

“I think they tried to put pressure on to keep Mick and blame all the team and I don’t think that was good for Mick,” Steiner told the Sky Sports F1 Podcast. 

“In the end, they didn’t actively try to divide us but that’s what they did. I think he didn’t feel good when he heard the things talked about me and I didn’t feel good coming from their side. In the end, they tried to divide us.

“This is not good for Mick, even if they try to do this because in the end the team decides who is going to drive the car and not the driver which car he is driving. There is no point to upset a team about a driver because you want to say ‘Guenther didn’t take care enough of Mick and how I do things’.

“In the end, he scored points. Nobody says ‘that’s because Guenther managed Mick like this’, nobody came with that and I don’t expect that like I don’t expect to be blamed if he crashes. The driver has to do that himself to get the points and not to crash.

“The responsibility of the team is to give the driver the best car they can, and we always did that, and be fair to both drivers that they both get the same level of car, we always did that.

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“And if we didn’t do that then we explained, for example, that an upgrade, only one part was available and you share it. We were very open about it, we never hid anything or gave an advantage to one or the other driver because that is a principle of my life – you need to treat people fairly to get the best out of it.

“In the end, who wants the drivers to perform at their best? Me and the team so why would I try to sabotage any of our drivers?

“In the end, this is part of a team principal life that some people don’t like what you’re doing. I don’t really care if somebody doesn’t like what I do. Just say it – it doesn’t do anything, I will not change because I don’t feel I need to change because of somebody who has not walked in the team.”