Haas’ Mick Schumacher remains undeterred after Carlos Sainz was awarded a new contract at Ferrari, leaving both seats at the Scuderia out of reach for the time being.
After securing four podiums and finishing fifth in the Drivers’ Championship, Sainz was rewarded with the new contract that keeps him at the Maranello side until at least the end of 2024 along with team-mate Charles Leclerc.
Schumacher became a reserve driver for Ferrari after a solid debut season in the sport with Haas last year, and he acknowledges the excellent job Sainz has done since his arrival from McLaren, and praises the dynamic he has built at the side together with Charles Leclerc.
“For me it doesn’t change much,” he said.
“For Ferrari, extending with Carlos was obvious. He had a strong season in 2021, he and Charles work well together.”
Schumacher has been joined at Haas this year by the returning Kevin Magnussen following the sacking of Nikita Mazepin amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and now that he is up against an established, consummate and competent racer, team principal Guenther Steiner said that it “means something” if Schumacher can out-perform the Dane.
Magnussen has out-qualified his German team-mate three times in the opening four rounds of the 2022 season, and has scored three points finishes as the 22-year-old continues to wait for his first top-10 finish in F1.
As a result, Schumacher is aware that his priority is to start obtaining some solid results with the American outfit before he can think of a Ferrari drive.
“My job is to perform well in the Haas,” he stated.
Sainz’s new contract comes amid a slightly juxtaposing beginning to the 2022 season, after two podiums in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia were followed by two non-finishes in Australia and Imola, but the Spaniard’s consistency has not been reflective of the raw pace he possesses, so it was “straightforward” for him to continue his collaboration with the Italian giants.
“[I’m] very happy as you can imagine,” he said at the Drivers’ Press Conference in Imola.
“After such a good first year with Ferrari it was pretty straightforward that we wanted to continue together for another few years.
“The fact that I’ve just signed a new contract with the team of my dreams since I was a kid and that the fact that now this team is fighting for more important things, we are on the way up and we have a strong car, it’s just a perfect situation for me so I’m very excited for what’s coming and I’m looking forward for the future.”
The failure to finish the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix came after his crash in qualifying the same weekend, but it was through no fault of his own as Daniel Ricciardo tagged him at the first corner and sent him into the gravel.
The 27-year-old himself remains unfazed, and is optimistic that better results are on the horizon.
“[It is] definitely a tough moment and we obviously wanted to do a good race here in front of the fans,” he told Sky Sports.
“There were still 63 laps ahead so to get bumped out of the race in Turn Two is bad but there is always these tough moments in the life of a sportsman and today it is my turn to go through them and as long as I keep working hard I’m sure the good moments will come.”
Sainz was bumped down to fifth in the Drivers’ Standings as a legacy of Red Bull’s one-two finish and George Russell’s P4 in Imola, while Schumacher ended the race 17th after a spin at the Variante Alta.
Conversely, Magnussen managed his 38th points finish in F1 as he ended up ninth, leaving work for Schumacher to do if he is to convince Ferrari that he should be in their future plans.