Ralf Schumacher, the uncle of Haas F1 rookie Mick, has slammed Guenther Steiner for publicly calling out the young German for having a number of crashes in the last few race weekends.
“Mick in the last five races had quite a few big ones,” Steiner said.
“It’s a lot of money and for no good reason. They are getting a little bit too frequent and too heavy.”
Ralf has fired back in defence of his nephew – and he warned that he wouldn’t have tolerated being publicly critcised by his team boss.
“The accidents are unfortunate, yes, but I had a problem with the way Guenther Steiner criticised him publicly,” the ex-F1 racer said.
“As a driver, I wouldn’t have put up with that and would have grabbed him. You can ask Eddie Jordan about that.
“I really like Guenther Steiner but it didn’t have to happen. No driver wants to read in public how his team boss criticises him. That should happen internally.
“Guenther Steiner wouldn’t want Mick to call his car a sh*t car in the press. He’s right about that.
“Too many accidents happen, the team can’t afford that. Mick knows himself it wasn’t ideal to crash in the free practice sessions.
“I don’t think the criticism was too harsh. It was just communicated in an unfortunate way,” he added.
Asked for his thoughts on Mick eventually landing a Ferrari seat, Ralf said he would support such a move as he believes a more competitive car would give him a “better chance to show his potential.”
Continuing, he said: “Haas continue to work with Ferrari and Mattia Binotto is obviously very happy with Mick, as he just said in an interview.
“That is more important for Mick’s future than Guenther Steiner’s criticism. If Haas manage to return to their old successes, I would be very happy. The team would deserve it, the mechanics and also Guenther.
“Mick is doing extremely well. We see a completely different Mick than last year when the pressure in Formula 2 was great. In the interviews you notice he is becoming more and more relaxed and easy-going.”