On the eve before the Inaugural Miami Grand Prix weekend officially begins, Haas driver Mick Schumacher spoke to selected media including MotorLAT about his thoughts on the new track, his teammate Kevin Magnussen, and what it’s like representing the American team.
Although the F1 drivers have not driven on the 5.41km track before, Schumacher discussed his first impressions of the new street circuit in Miami.
“I think it looks nice. It's obviously it’s the first time anyone comes here. So I guess it's new to everybody you know…but I think it's exciting; the track looks narrow in some spots and super long straights.
"So yeah, hopefully overtaking will be a big factor and we'll have a lot of action and a lot of good and nice fights,” Schumacher said, adding he couldn't practice the track on the simulator.
The unique street track features three long straights and three DRS zones which Schumacher believes are the best areas for overtaking.
“Well I think we have the long straights so it's just about getting a good exit out of the corners and have the DRS. not sure that then by the end of the straight or probably halfway through the straight you'll be passed so it's a matter of overtaking again after you overtaken somebody I guess that also with a DRS train can make for a lot of action going into tight corners,” he said.
Every new track comes with its own set of potential issues and one area of concern involves the pit entry. However, with a full weekend of racing consisting of three practices, as opposed to a condensed sprint qualifying one, Schumacher is hopeful that the concern will be solved on time before the race.
“Yeah, no, not quite sure what they're going to do, if they're going to put the 80km/h earlier of after it.
I think that it's just a matter of not having drivers go straight flat out through it. We'll have to see how it goes.
Luckily it's not a sprint qualifying event so we do have the time, FP1, FP2, FP3 to really get on top of it and also understand if there's change necessary or not.”
While the Miami International Autodrome track promises to add plenty of excitement for the fans, Schumacher also admits that he wants to keep tracks like Spa or Imola on the calendar. When the German driver was asked about whether or not he favors one type of track over the other, he highlighted the special qualities of each.
“I think it depends on the moment, but you know, I think that both have their flair, both are special. And you know, we have the traditional tracks that I would love to keep in the calendar. But I think it's great that we try new things as you know, we have street circuits and I especially like getting new street circuits. That thrill, that passion and also makes us drivers learn something new.
Schumacher considers the Monoco track to be the ultimate driver’s challenge.
“Yeah, I guess so. Because obviously, you know, you get so close to the walls. I always refer Monaco to something where it's incredible to see how well a human can adapt because you just start feeling so comfortable at such speeds, being so close to the wall.
“Anyways, so and then once you go from one to go to another track, like, for example, if you go from Monoco to Paul Ricard, where everything is suddenly so wide amd apart, it's like, 'something doesn't feel right, it's so slow.' It's quite different; it's nice that we try out new things.”
The Haas team has endured a solid start to the 2022 season with new teammate Kevin Magnussen on board and Schumacher expressed his overall content with the wisdom that the Danish driver has shared with him.
“I think it's great. Obviously, he's got a lot of experience in Formula One, being able to compare myself to him and also work just with him is something which is very different compared to last year because it's very positive. So I'm very happy about that.”
As the only American team on the grid in F1, Schumacher welcomes the extra “spice” that Miami adds to the Haas team ahead of the race weekend.
“It's great to be here. Being the only American team has obviously been adding the spice to us. Let's say adding the spotlight to us even more than it has been.”
“So I arrived yesterday. I didn't see much then I came here to see the crowd, which was I think 10,000 people was it was quite special already. But yeah, you know, I haven't been here since I was four or five years old. So it's been it's been a while; it's been great to come here and see how it's changed, even though I don't remember much.”