The Italian Grand Prix went by surprisingly well for Mick Schumacher.
The Haas driven approached the race with little practice and more concern. In the end it seems like, with all his focus on the performance, the German managed to give his team something to be positive about, as he explained at the microphones of MotorLAT and other media outlets:
“Definitely not one of the easiest [weekends]. We didn’t drive much in free practice and then went into qualifying with very little knowledge. Even at the beginning of the race it kinda felt a bit weird and strange. I’d never done high fuel laps. But no I think overall we were really happy about the performance we shown and we really were on the course for points. As everybody were struggling with their tyres. We were on a very good tyre.”
“I mean, you know, starting last and then having any sort of expectation of going forwards and to knew we’re having points is something that we’ve been imaging possible in the beginning of the race. So yeah I think we’re happy on that side of course we would have loved to get going and get those last 2 laps but we believe we had a good chance to attack the guys in front and we’re making our way into the top 7.”
During the race the 23-year-old had a battle with Nicholas Latifi. The Williams' massive speed on the straights, compared to his draggy Haas, forced the German to get brave to make a move.
“It was definitely not an easy one, he was super quick in the straights and even pulling away in the DRS, so I had to get something done somehow, and I was planning on not using too much tyre life but then actually I decided to do that so I could get by because I was gonna just ruin my tyres if I stayed behind him.
"So I just tried it, got around [at the first chicane] and obviously he came by like a rocketship again. I got a good exit [to repass out of the second chicane], and I think within two corners I pulled out a one second gap. So yeah, definitely a decent one.”
In the end it all paid off, as Schumacher climbed to the 12th position.
Near the end of the race he even thought he might have a chance to score some points, and the Safety Car could’ve helped him. Before the stoppage, he was on softs versus the runners in front who were on old hard tyres.
“We were on for a good one, for sure. We had the pace, everyone else in front was on old tyres and we really had fresh tyres there.
"The key moment was the first stint, the medium stint was amazing for us.
“It was definitely, yeah, a good drive, but unfortunately we did not really get anything out of it. Points were possible, especially once the Safety Car came out I was like 'really ok now we’re in a good position to get some decent points', but nonetheless you know it’s obviously in the thought of safety. If that’s the right decision for sure I'll respect it. And then we showed our performance today for sure.
"P12, I think there were points in this race which is very unexpected for us. The thought of it counts and for sure motivates us to go into the last six races with more power."
Regarding the situation of the Safety Car, the German driver commented:
“I don’t know how the status of the car was, if it was in the dangerous state. Of course I understand that the Marshall don’t really want to be electrocuted. I wouldn’t wanna either. I definitely respect that. Again it’s a decision of the race director and the FIA to take that, and I’ll respect it.”
While we can not change the past, we can look forward to the future. Schumacher is really thrilled about the upcoming races on the calendar.
“Looking forward to all six races that are left really. All of them seemingly pretty strong with our package, so hopefully it will be a good one.”
Specifically talking about Singapore and Suzuka, the driver commented:
“Very excited. Singapore is obviously one of the most, I would say, challenging race tracks just because of the humidity and the track itself is very demanding. I am pretty sure it’s a track which should suit our car just from the downforce level itself. And then of course Suzuka is one of my favourite tracks. I’ve never raced there but just by the looks of it it’s my favourite already, so I can’t wait to go there.”
While talking about the preparation for the next GPs, he explained to the media that he had not yet used the simulator yet but he’s excited and ready.
"I’m already mentally in Singapore driving my laps, of course. You always have to be prepared."