Earlier today, Mick Schumacher has been announced as the new driver in the Haas line up for 2021, with Nikita Mazepin alongside him what has been announced earlier yesterday. Mick, who is currently on his way to win the F2 title this season, has already confirmed he will take part in the Friday FP1 session in Abu Dhabi, as he will be free of any F2 commitments.
Currently, for the Sakhir GP, Pietro Fittipaldi has been chosen as the replacement for Romain Grosjean, with the Frenchman returning for the last remaining race of the season to the cockpit of the Haas car, at least that is currently the plan for the team. Romain Grosjean has been discharged from the hospital in Bahrain on Wednesday morning, after the treatment for the burns on his hands after the crash and will continue his recovery in his hotel.
Although it is still not sure if Romain will be able to return to the paddock for the last remaining race, Mick Schumacher says he feels ready in case the opportunity for him arises to step into the car for a race earlier than next season.
As he said: “I think it's great if you are considered to be ready to do that. I feel like I am. Obviously, you have three FPs, in which you have time to learn. Obviously, it would be a challenge, but definitely, I think I would be able get to know the car more to be even better prepared for next year.”
Günther Steiner, the team principal of Haas F1 team has insisted that for now there has been no discussion regarding Schumacher racing in Abu Dhabi, as the plan is for Romain to drive. As he said: “We haven't spoken. As I said before, at the moment the status is I want to see where Romain is on Monday. That’s what I agreed with him. We have got enough drivers on standby, who can drive, so I'm not worried about that, and we just take the decision when we know hundred percent that Romain can not drive. I think he can finish his time with Haas in a race, that's what I would like, and not just watching it. That is our aim, that is what we spoke with him about.”
He added: “I said, 'I fully support that you want to go out on a high,' and he said, ‘If I can do it, that is what I want to do. We’re not deciding anything before we know that he can definitely not drive.”
Steiner also suggested that the winter resting with 2021 car will be more important to the young German than the initial outing in FP1 this season. As he said in a recent interview with motorsport.com: “There are only three days of testing in front of next season. I think that is a lot more important than the FP1. I think everybody knows my opinion about that, that is a nice thing to do, but it’s not something where you learn a lot. I think the biggest thing you learn is dealing with pressure on a race event, the car technically, there is not a lot you can learn. For sure the [young driver] test session after Abu Dhabi is good, a day in the car is good for anybody. But the most important thing is that we have a flawless test before next season, that we don’t have any issues in the three days, because three days is not a lot of testing, divided by two.”