Four-time F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel has reflected on Mick Schumacher’s debut season in Formula 1 and said he hopes the young German has a more competitive package next year.
The 22-year-old, who’s the son of Michael Schumacher, made the step up to F1 in 2021 after winning the previous year’s Formula 2 championship.
He failed to score points in his maiden season in the pinnacle of motorsport, with Haas having the slowest car on the grid as they decided not to develop their package, as the American racing outfit decided to focus on 2022.
Despite this, Schumacher impressed many in the paddock by out-qualifying fellow rookie team-mate Nikita Mazepin at all 22 events contested in 2021.
Vettel said he was following Schumacher’s progress “closely” and hailed his strong first season in Formula 1.
“Well I think it’s difficult to judge because the car has been so far off,” Vettel replied when asked to rate Schumacher’s debut season.
“But for those who were looking and looking closely – obviously I’ve been following – I think he did an incredible job with such a poor car to reach qualifying segment two a couple of times, to have strong showings in the race, fight some of the other cars that are much faster, stick with the cars ahead that are supposed to be much faster. That’s a great effort!”
Continuing, the four-time world champion said Schumacher has “been a huge lift for the entire team” and praised the young German’s enthusiasm and work rate.
“I think the offset from the start of the season for that team was poor because they had no development and they were far behind.
“But I think if you look throughout the year, Mick’s been very happy and enthusiastic and happy to put work in.
“He’s been one of the first ones, if not the first one, every single day to come to the paddock and one of the latest ones to leave.”
Continuing, the Aston Martin driver said: “He’s shown great interest in trying to push the team along.
“So apart from the job on track that he did, apart from some small mistakes that happen in your first year, I think he’s done a great job.
“So I really wish he gets a much better car next year to show what he’s able to do.”