Mick Schumacher gives Guenther Steiner another reason to fire him

Mick Schumacher crashed late on in first practice in Japan.

Haas team principal, Guenther Steiner, was not too pleased after Mick Schumacher’s accident at the end of first practice in Japan.

The German came into the weekend having reportedly begun talks with the team about extending his contract at last weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.

An unfortunate incident with George Russell denied the German any shot as scoring points at Marina Bay, but it was another promising performance that perhaps deserved a little more than 13th.

Japan is set to provide another rain-effect weekend of running, and that started in first practice on Friday, with the drivers heading out on extreme Wets.

READ: Mick Schumacher hits out at George Russell for ‘killing’ his race

Some of them gave it a go on Inters, but the rain quickly resumed, so the green-walled rubber was not useful for very long.

On an undulating, twisty, old-school racetrack, there were rivers and standing water aplenty at the Suzuka Circuit, making it difficult to navigate the cars round the 5.8-kilometre tour.

Schumacher and team-mate, Kevin Magnussen, posted 28 laps between them, and the Dane ended the session seventh, two positions ahead of the 23-year-old.

The drivers were sent out onto the circuit at the end of FP1 to perform a practice start and make their way back round slowly, but Schumacher lost control at Dunlop, and flew off into the barriers.

Article continues below

That necessitated a lengthy and expensive repair job for the American side, forcing Schumacher to sit out the second session.

“Yeah it’s disappointing,” Steiner told F1TV of the incident. 

“We just went out for the race start to get data for Sunday and then on the way in from the race start Mick crashed the car, he aquaplaned and crashed into the barrier which damaged the car quite heavily.

“The whole front is broken but we also have to change the whole chassis because we’re not sure if there is a crack in it or not and you cannot take any risks with the chassis.  

“It’s better to be 100 per cent safe that the car is in good shape for tomorrow.”

The Italian divulged that the mechanics will be hard at work on Friday night fixing the damage.

READ: Helmut Marko says Pierre Gasly’s future will be decided at Japanese GP

“It’s the first time now that the potential damage is only potential because we need to x-ray it and see if it is cracked enough. But it is quite as you say, frustrating,” added Steiner.

“In FP3 the car will be there tomorrow morning, the car will be there. The guys will have a late evening, but they will fix the car again and we’ve got all the parts, that’s not an issue.”

In FP2, which was also rain-hit, Magnussen went fifth fastest again, putting another 17 laps on the board in what is looking a very solid weekend for him so far.