The Haas F1 Team was expected to head into the 2022 season with the same driver line-up it ran last year, namely Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.
However, following the recent events between Russia and Ukraine, the Russian driver’s career was ultimately cut short.
Mazepin’s father and part owner of the title sponsor of Haas, Dmitry Mazepin, is said to have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Haas quickly responded to the situation by ending all ties with the Mazepin family and bringing Kevin Magnussen back into their driver line-up after spending a year on the F1 sidelines.
With the sudden change of Schumacher’s team-mate, the German driver has said he is “more comfortable” with his new partner at Haas.
“Kevin has been racing for so long,” Schumacher said to SpeedWeek.
“He’s been racing in Formula 1 since 2014, he’s been able to move very different types of GP racers, and I’m sure that vast experience has helped him adapt so quickly to the 2022 Haas.
“It’s very interesting to see how Kevin approaches a GP weekend. We can benefit from each other in the way he feels from the car and what I feel.”
Schumacher added that he believes Haas could finish as high as fifth in the Constructors’ Championship this campaign.
“I feel more comfortable with the working relationship with the other driver this year, it’s going really well. And we are realigning expectations. Last year we had to be happy if we found ourselves in 16th place,” he said.
“This season we can finish fifth if everything goes optimally.”
Ahead of the 2022 Australian Grand Prix, Haas boss Guenther Steiner said Schumacher’s relationship with Magnussen is turning out to be a very harmonious and pleasant one.
“For Mick, he can have a reference now with Kevin, and Kevin is trying to help Mick with his experience which he got from driving Formula 1 cars for six years in his career,” Steiner said.
“Internally, the team works very well together on both sides of the garage – with engineers and mechanics – it’s a very good atmosphere at the moment.”
Magnussen has scored more than triple the number of points Haas accumulated from the last two seasons after finishing fifth in the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix.
The American racing outfit is currently fifth in the Constructors’ Standings with 12 points, just behind Alpine, on 16 points.