Mick Schumacher happy with ‘pretty smooth’ FP1 session as he makes F1 weekend debut for Haas
Next year Mick Schumacher will get to drive in every session for Haas, but this weekend in Abu Dhabi he had to be content with taking part in FP1 – his maiden F1 session – and doing what his new team boss described as “a solid job.”
Schumacher completed 23 laps in Kevin Magnussen’s VF-20, setting a time good enough for P18, just a couple of tenths shy of Nicholas Latifi’s Williams but ahead of the other Haas of Pietro Fittipaldi.
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“I think I would describe it as it went pretty smooth,” said Schumacher, who was crowned Formula 2 champion last Sunday. “We didn’t have many major problems, I didn’t spin or anything, so that’s good. Obviously it’s still me trying to get used to the car as well. It’s such a big step from F2 to F1 so I’m happy everything went well.”
Team boss Guenther Steiner added: “I think it’s fantastic to have Mick Schumacher participating in his first Grand Prix weekend in our car – that’s great for everyone at Haas F1.
“He did a solid job, he did what he was supposed to do, and he kept his nose clean. I think he learned a lot over the 90-minutes. We’re looking forward to Tuesday’s test with him.”
Asked how long it had taken him to adjust to F1 from F2, Schumacher said: “It didn’t take me as long as I thought it would so it was really good. I took the C3, which is the hardest compound, and got to do a few laps in a row which is really good; every lap, building up the pace and trying to understand how much can I push in this corner, how much can I push there?
FIRST LOOK: Mick Schumacher on track for Haas in FP1 for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
“So it was really a matter of time and giving me the laps to get used to it. Then we went to the softer tyre, which was a huge jump. The difference in compound, you feel it very strongly. It’s very cool – it was really nice.”
As Steiner suggests, Schumacher won’t have long to wait for his next outing in the Ferrari-powered car, with the German running in Tuesday’s end-of-season test at Yas Marina.