2020 Formula 2 Champion Mick Schumacher has had a difficult start to his Formula 1 career having debuted this season with Haas F1 Team who have struggled to get a handle on the car issues which have plagued them recently. Despite the team's struggles, Schumacher has earned praise for his impressive qualifying at the Turkish Grand Prix, netting a Q2 appearance for the team on merit.
Ayoa Komatso, Haas F1 Team chief race engineer has praised the young German’s hard-work and motivation.
"I think Mick [Schumacher] works really hard," he explained. "Whether he has a good weekend or bad weekend, he's really self-critical, in a good way.
"He's always looking for areas to improve. When he's talking about 'okay, I've done this wrong, I need to improve this', it doesn't actually depress him. It just gives him more extra motivation. So he's always looking at himself as well as other things he can influence.
"He also works really hard with his engineers, and they are motivated by Mick's attitude as well. So it works both ways."
When asked how Schumacher’s qualifying performance would affect things internally for the team, team principal Guenther Steainer mentioned a standout performance for the team instills the confidence that they can perform well when given the opportunity.
“For me, I was obviously happy for Mick that he got it done, but for the whole team because as you mentioned, we’ve had very few on-track highlights, and having something like this assures you that we can do it - that we can execute when we get the opportunity. I think this will have an impact in the next races for the team because they got some of the confidence back that they maybe lost a bit over the year and hopefully we can have another moment like this in 2021.
Komatso continued to highlight the importance of open lines of communication both from Schumacher and from the team have helped not only in dealing with on track incidents, but also in improving the team’s overall performances.
"He's constantly learning and improving, and absorbing every single time," he said. "There's some weekends where he did a crash in a free practice session, and that had an impact on his qualifying performance, etc.
"Sometimes we sit down straight away, sometimes we talk about it a week later, or at the next event, but we never leave things unsaid or not looked at.
"And he works very closely with his engineers, plus I work closely with him as well, in terms of the philosophy of how you approach the weekend, what we've done wrong, and what was the mindset for making certain things happen, either positive or negative.
"We try to put more positives together for the future weekends. So I can't really pinpoint one weekend where he made a step. I think he is just constantly looking for the improvements."