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Mick Schumacher happy with ‘pretty smooth’ FP1 session as he makes F1 weekend debut for Haas

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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.

Mick Schumacher: First Haas drive 'went pretty smooth'

“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.

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