Schumacher delighted to go from FP3 fire to first Q3 appearance in Spain
When Mick Schumacher’s brakes caught on fire in FP3, it seemed like a long shot for his car to be ready for qualifying. But thanks to the great work of the Haas mechanics, not only did Schumacher make it out for qualifying at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, but he also made it into Q3 for the first time in his career. And the second-year driver praised the “great effort” of Haas, as team mate Kevin Magnussen joined him inside the top 10.
A fire on the rear-right brakes of Schumacher’s car saw him miss the majority of Free Practice 3, with the team enacting repairs in time for him to make it out for qualifying – with the German ultimately taking a career-best P10. Asked about the work done by his team, Schumacher said: “They did a great job, and you know being able to jump into Q3 without having driven in FP3 is definitely great and great effort by everyone else in the team.”
Schumacher – who got close to scoring his first points in Formula 1 in Miami before a collision with his friend Sebastian Vettel close to the end of the race – was hopeful for a better outcome tomorrow, and even predicted an eventful race as drivers would be willing to take greater risks.
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“Starting P10 we are already in the points so it’s just a matter of staying in it, if not maybe gaining a few positions through the front,” said Schumacher, whose father Michael took six wins at the track in his career. “I’m sure Barcelona already in the past has always been quite eventful, and not… because of the chance of overtaking but actually because it’s so difficult to overtake, so people risk a lot. We will see what will happen tomorrow.”
Schumacher’s team mate Kevin Magnussen qualified in P8 – giving Haas their first top 10 start for both cars since 2019 – despite the Danish racer being hampered by a DRS issue throughout qualifying. And Magnussen believed that, without the problem, he possibly could have ended up as high as sixth.
“You always say it could have been better but this time I’m pretty sure!” joked Magnussen. “[The DRS] was working but only after like five clicks, and then you are already a couple of hundred metres down the straights, so there was maybe a tenth in it or something which have just put me right there with P6 and P7. So, who knows. It was a good day anyway so looking forward to tomorrow.
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When asked what Haas’s biggest challenge in the race would be tomorrow, meanwhile, Magnussen replied: “As for everyone, I think it’s going to be the hot tyres, the track temperature. It’s going to really cook the tyres, but it seems that we are on the good side of that maybe. Our cooling has been pretty good this year and it doesn’t seem like we are overheating the rear tyres and the front tyres that much, so let’s see if that’s true. We will get an answer tomorrow.”