Last week, ahead of the Azerbaijan GP, we shared the first part of our exclusive interview with Mick Schumacher. The young German driver talked about his accident in Monaco, his relationship with Kevin Magnussen and the expectations for the rest of the season.
The 23-year-old finished the Baku Grand Prix in the 14th place after Ferrari´s drama left the two red cars out of the race together with Alfa Romeo´s Guanyu Zhou and his teammate Kevin Magnussen.
When we asked him whether this new generation of cars are nicer to drive or 2021´s were more fun because of the speed. Schumacher explained: “I think as long as the car is quick, it´s fun to drive, right? So, if we talk purely about car. Probably if we go back to either 2020 or if we go back even further to like 2004, 2002, I think that´s probably the era when the car was the most fun to drive.”
However, the German believes all seasons have pros and cons and mentioned like many other drivers the importance of being able to follow more closely.
“All seasons have their pros and cons, and I think this year there´s obviously a pro because we’re able to follow super close; we´re able to attack and also fight. Compared to last year or the year before, we couldn´t do that – and in the past you didn´t have the DRS so it was even a different dynamic.”
Racing is always fun and according to him the fun factor is always there.
“I think every year the car develops, the car changes and that means also that the fun factor changes where the fun is, but it doesn´t change in the sense that it´s more or less fun. I still love racing and even if you give me a three-wheeler or whatever, it would be fun to race against the best.”
Throughout his career Schumacher has tended to be stronger in his second year. Being 2022 his second year in F1 we asked him if he feels stronger than in 2021.
”It´s normal to feel stronger in the second year for sure, but I think I really didn´t have that one moment yet where I feel that I´m consistently, always giving my best – and I think that there´s this one moment that I need [to make the breakthrough], but I feel like I´m on a good way to achieving that and I think why not achieve it here.”
When asked if being stronger had to do with confidence or experience, he added: “Maybe because of the pressure (laughs). Maybe it´s good. The second year in junior categories, you always want to do well and you wanna win, but it doesn´t mean that in the first years it was bad. If I go back to 2019, we had a few races where we were just as quick as the first guys and unfortunately some things happened which weren´t in my control – and it quickly looks like a year which wasn’t great.
“I think that´s always something that in the second year we started off being in quite a difficult position, but once I had a very good weekend or a decent weekend, I managed to embrace that and just move from there.”
Netflix´s Drive to Survive fourth season devoted a complete episode to Haas´ 2021 season. He explained that he´s seen parts of the series “I´ve seen parts of it. I´m not in it much anyway, so I was able to watch,” and added that it hasn’t affected him in his daily life.
“I wasn’t in it much, so it´s not like that I can´t go into the streets without being taken (laughs)… but it´s alright. I still have my freedom; I still do the things that I want to. I think the fact that people recognize or at least think that it is me is higher [now].”
In the first part of the interview, he talked about his relationship with teammate Kevin Magnussen, but what’s it like working with Guenther Steiner?
“Obviously, he´s a strong character, but he’s somebody who has a lot of experience and somebody I can learn from. He's somebody that has been around in this game for a very long time… so again, someone to work with and someone to learn from.”
Last year debut in F1 was special to many fans around the world but also to drivers who were former rivals of Schumacher´s father in the early 2000’s.
One of them, Kimi Raikkonen, said last year to MotorLat he would have no problem in helping Mick in terms of driving advice. When we mentioned this to him, the Haas driver only had nice words to say in regards to the last World Champion for Ferrari.
“They always say that he doesn´t talk much and stuff, but I’ve actually experienced a very different Kimi.
“I think he´s someone that was actually quite easy to talk to and someone who was happy to share information in terms of how to approach some stuff – and just in general, he’s a very very kind and open-minded person.
“I really have to say I miss Kimi a lot in general. It´s different without his energy around here,” he concluded.
Another F1 great that has taken Schumacher under his wing is Sebastian Vettel. The four-time-world champion became a mentor and a friend for the young Schumacher, just like Michael Schumacher was with him over a decade ago.
On about the importance of Seb´s friendship and guidance, the Haas driver said: “It’s hugely important to me. I´m very grateful to be in that position and to be able to learn from him, but also just talk to him and to have him as a friend. So, yes very happy to have him.”
Was the crash in Miami with Vettel an ‘oh my God' moment? “Yes, but we´ve raced hard before. If we go back to Imola, we raced hard too against each other.
“That’s fun because it´s more of a we drive together than it is necessarily against. It´s fun when it´s him. When I see that it´s him in front of me or if I see that it´s him behind me, I know it´s gonna be a good fight because he knows my limits and I know his limits. So it´s just a matter of giving that to each other.”
On this upcoming Sunday, F1 will race in Canada for the first time since 2019.
Back in 2001, his uncle Ralf and father Michael became the first brothers to achieve a 1-2 in F1’s history.
Schumacher is very proud of continuing the tradition of the Schumacher name in F1 after the famous brothers.
“I’m very proud to be in F1 – and it was not like it was handed to me. I had to race for it. I had to win championships for it, so I´m super proud of that, too.”
About how his passion for racing started and was racing in his blood, he told us: “When we go back to the question if it was in my blood… I think so, because the first time I stepped into a Go-Kart it was when I was two and a half years old.
I barely could walk, barely could talk, so I always loved racing anything that had to do with engines and speed – and it was always a fun thing and it is still today. If I think about it, how many toys I had in my little garage… only engines and stuff, so it´s very fun.”
Is driving in F1 the fulfillment of a childhood dream? He had his future planned since a young age.
“Yes, I still now remember when I think back I sat in a car and I was fully planning it out what I was gonna do after go karting and that was when I was like six or seven.
“I was like ‘I´m gonna go there there there' and then I´m gonna end up in F1 and that´s what I´m gonna do – and for sure there was no other way in my dream scenario let´s say.”