Haas publicly criticise Mick Schumacher: ‘What he said after that wasn’t great’

Mick Schumacher's future beyond this year has not yet been finalised.

Haas’ chief race engineer, Ayao Komatsu, feels that Mick Schumacher spends too much time comparing himself to his team-mate.

Schumacher entered Formula 1 with the American team last season alongside fellow rookie, Nikita Mazepin, and he out-qualified the Russian 20 times in 2022 races.

The 23-year-old achieved the team’s best result of 13th at the Hungarian Grand Prix, but neither driver scored points in an underperforming car.

Haas had been spending two years focusing on the new technical regulations set to be introduced this season, and they have had a car, particularly in the early going of the year, that has been capable of top 10 finishes.

READ: F1 boss explains why Mick Schumacher is under more pressure than Max Verstappen

Mazepin was replaced by the returning Kevin Magnussen at the start of the season having been dropped amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the Dane has scored points five times this year.

Three of those point-scoring races took place in the opening four rounds of the season, but it took Schumacher until the 10th round to score his first championship points at the British Grand Prix.

The German’s performance began improving the round before in Canada, but he was denied by a reliability failure.

After his eighth-placed finish in Silverstone though, more points would follow in Austria.

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During that weekend, he finished ninth in the sprint race after being passed by Sir Lewis Hamilton, who was recovering through the field after crashing in qualifying.

The 2020 Formula 2 champion had been holding off the Mercedes for several laps, but he was stuck behind Magnussen, and was denied by the team when he asked to be allowed through.

If looks could kill, those in the media pen after the session would have been fleeing, and Komatsu has revealed that it all made for an interesting debrief as their young driver vented his frustration.

“Mick was behind Kevin and that frustrated him,” he told Motorsport-Total.com.

“His focus in the sprint race wasn’t the right one, we talked about that afterwards. We talked before the sprint race about how we would do it as a team, but what he did after that wasn’t great, and what he said after that wasn’t great either.”

Magnussen leads the qualifying battle 12-4 this season, while Schumacher has ended up ahead og his team-mate in 10 of the 16 races.

Generally, the Haas pair have been fairly evenly matched this campaign, but Komatsu suggests that, when Schumacher is out-performed by his team-mate, he lets it get to his head.

That is when the Japanese engineer has to use his experience and calmy remind his driver that everyone is pulling in the same direction. 

“Sometimes Mick focuses too much on his team-mate,” explained Komatsu.

“Then I say to him ‘look, Kevin really likes to help you and he tells you things he would never have told Romain [Grosjean] before’.

“Then Mick thinks and realises the most important thing for the team is to get up in the Constructors’ Championship.

“I explain it to him: ‘Mick, come on, you’re doing well, focus on your own performance and not on this thing’, and then it’s fine again.”

Haas might even have been able to get some points on the board with last year’s troublesome car had Magnussen been part of the set-up.

“It’s very good for Mick to have an established team-mate like Kevin, we didn’t know beforehand how good he is,” conceded Komatsu.

READ: Guenther Steiner says he won’t make a ‘big gamble’ as Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg linked with Haas

“Then Kevin came along and that gave us a reference, we think that with our 2021 car we would have been safe against Williams – we could have fought if we’d had Kevin back then. 

“Mick would have benefited from that in his development.”

Schumacher is currently out of contract at the end of the 2022 season, and team principal, Guenther Steiner, is weighing up a multitude of options as to whom might partner Magnussen next season.