Mick Schumacher, Haas, Interlagos, 2022

Schumacher “confused” after qualifying last as team mate claims pole

2022 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Haas driver Mick Schumacher admits he may have “underestimated” the grip levels on the damp track after he was eliminated slowest in qualifying at Interlagos.

Schumacher will line up at the back of the grid for the Brazilian Grand Prix sprint race after he was knocked out of Q1 in 20th position.

After the first phase of qualifying began in damp conditions, Schumacher was one of the last drivers to transition from intermediates to soft slick tyres near the end of the session. However, despite switching to dry tyres at the same point as his team mate Kevin Magnussen, Schumacher was eliminated at the end of the session as the slowest of the 20 drivers, while Magnussen easily progressed to Q2 in seventh, nearly two-and-a-half seconds quicker than him.

Magnussen continued into Q3 where he took a shock pole position after setting the quickest time on his first flying lap as rain fell on the circuit which eventually prevented anyone from beating him. The result means that the two Haas drivers will start Saturday’s sprint race from the opposite ends of the field.

“Firstly, congratulations to Kevin and the team – they really deserve this,” Schumacher said after qualifying.

“For me, it felt like an okay lap. I thought we had enough margin to get through with it, but seemingly I’m last. So a bit confusing.”

Schumacher admits he may have been too careful in his final flying lap on dry tyres due to him not realising the track surface was offering up as much grip as it was despite not being fully dry.

“It just seems like maybe I underestimated the grip,” he said. “Obviously the track looked pretty damp, but maybe it just wasn’t as damp as I thought.

“[It’s] very frustrating, because I think we had a good car. It just means that tomorrow, the job will be a bit harder for sure. But nothing’s done, so I’m still staying optimistic.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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25 comments on “Schumacher “confused” after qualifying last as team mate claims pole”

  1. And that’s the nail in the coffin of his drive next year!
    Steiner said he was too cautious

    1. Quite agree…but in his defence…if he had gone quicker and crashed(again)…Steiner would have said he was too ambitous….cannot see him in the team next year

  2. Think we had a few examples now where the car was good and where Magnussen grabbed it and Mick binned it.

    1. Magnussen failed in the intermediate runs in Q1, and gambled on a slick run. It took him three laps to get confidence and qualify.
      At that moment Mick was in P3, but still on intermediates when all other drivers opted for slicks. When Mick eventually switched, he only had a single lap to qualify, and after the endless critiques over his crashes, he was over cautious. Had the team switched him to softs 3 minutes earlier, he would’ve found the time to get confidence, but Haas have got their black sheep singled out already.

  3. Part of the difference is experience, but unfortunately for Mick, a lot of the difference is talent. Definitely his 2nd last weekend in that car, likely in F1.
    It must be absolutely gutting to be dead last when your teammate is getting lauded for such an achievement.

  4. He should never have been in F1 in the first place and never would have if his name hadn’t been Schumacher. Let’s be honest about that.

    1. I know you can argue that his name allowed him to race with more experienced teams but he won Formula 3 and Formula 2 championships, finished a season at least 2nd in the lower categories under that. I think he deserved a shot in F1. To stay in F1 I think you need a strong mental attitude that many talented drivers don’t have, he might be one of them. I mean who can blame him, he probably doubts himself every step of the way because his dad is one of the greatest.

  5. That has to be a first. One car on pole and the other in last. I mean entirely on merit (which I think we can say this is in spite of the late rain). I’m sure it has happened with penalties, quali crashes etc. Badoer managed to put the Ferrari in last a couple of times but I don’t think Kimi claimed pole in those races.

    I highly doubt (especially as Mick has lost Ferrari support) that we’ll see him in F1 next year. He is probably the only person who wishes Mazepin was still around.

    1. Badoer managed to put the Ferrari in last a couple of times but I don’t think Kimi claimed pole in those races.

      True, Räikkönen was 6th both times.

  6. I’ve been highly critical of Mick since the day he underwhelming joined F1, several times I described him as a Ralph more than a Michael, but that was very harsh, it’s clear now that Mick could only wish in his best hopes and dreams of achieving the skills and driving talent of Ralph, I owe an apology to Ralph.

    After 2 years, it’s clear Mick is a talentless hack whose last name got him opportunities he shouldn’t have had. While everyone is savaging Mazepin & Latifi, Mick is equally untalented and taking up space that could have went to talent.

    1. @jasonj subtle but I think I get your drift.

      He does seem to have just become a pain in the Haas.

    2. I would choose less harsh words to describe his abilities, but your sentiment I entirely agree with. He has had 2 years and to be fair he has had his moments, but that can happen to anyone. He just has a surname that sells. As for winning F2 and F3, we can all accept there can be strong seasons in f2 and f3 contestants. I contend both series have been very weak in the last few years. And suprise suprise some of the weakest drivers to make it to f1 has happened in the last 4 or 5 years.

  7. I guess we all wanted this to work but he’s more a Ralf than a Michael.

    1. There’s a bigger gap between Ralf and Mick than between Michael and Ralf.

    2. Ralf Schumacher was a genuine race winner who held his own against Montoya and had a good number of races where the Williams-BMW allowed him to compete with his brother, Häkkinen and other big names of his day on equal terms.

      Mick Schumacher is probably out of F1 and not coming back, but at only 23, he can still do whatever he wants whether that’s racing, taking up another career, or whatever. The only reason to feel bad for him is the tragic situation with his father.

  8. I shall defend Mick Schumacher. On each flying lap he was consistently at a similar pace to Magnussen, and he just happened to mess up the final one, the one that was important. In recent races he has consistently been at a similar level to Magnussen, and his reputation has just been tarnished by a poor start to the season in which he crashed too often. In my opinion, Schumacher’s season has turned around from Canada onwards, and since then he has been the marginally better Haas driver, only clearly outperformed by Magnussen in Paul Ricard and COTA, and then here in Interlagos (so far). Magnussen may have been outstanding on this occasion and Schumacher disappointing, but Mick is not a bad driver, certainly far better than Latifi or Mazepin, and deserves another season with Haas in 2023, even though he is indeed nowhere near the level of either Michael or Ralf Schumacher.

    1. The problem with matching Magnussen is that Magnussen himself was out of a drive until Haas’ preferred pay-driver was effectively banned from the sport. With so many people coming through F2, Indycar and the like the case for keeping Mick Schumacher isn’t very strong. That said, if the rumours that Haas is pursuing Hülkenberg are true then… yeah, that argument against Schumacher doesn’t really work in that case.

    2. +1
      If Haas would keep MSC he could possibly thrive in 23. Nico has had many chances but always messed up when a podium was up for grabs. Nico had a nice Indian summer, but no future in F1. Mick has shown to be a slow starter but is young and may have lots of potential left.

  9. I can see them both starting the GP on the same row. I have strong doubts that Kevin will convert his qualifying position into a top ten start for the GP. It certainly has the potential to make for an interesting Sprint; no doubt the reverse grid lobbyists will be watching closely.

    1. Does that car have the ability to keep the Red Bulls, Mercedes, or Ferrari behind them? I doubt that. Finishing in the top 10 should and is their target, nothing else.

  10. I feel bad for him really. Last year was so far behind it almost wasn’t worth it so he’s having essentially a 2nd rookie season, but generally in qualifying and in races he’s not really stacked up well against Magnussen – who really you’d expect to be slower given his experience and a year out. Being last while your team-mate is 1st, despite any reason is such a bad look it might be all over for him – unless he can squeeze himself into a Williams.

  11. This kid sucks big time, hes out
    Mick, youre Fired !

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