F1 cult hero Guenther Steiner dudded Mick Schumacher

F1 cult hero Guenther Steiner dudded Mick Schumacher
  • PublishedDecember 19, 2023

The real reason Michael Schumacher’s son Mick was chewed up and spat out by Formula 1 is clear in the eyes of former driver Timo Glock.

The 24-year-old was axed by Haas and the Ferrari young driver academy last year, just 21 months after making his debut with the team where he had been promoted after winning the F2 world championship.

Schumacher took a career lifeline as the reserve driver with Mercedes — and will continue that role in 2024.

As shown by the popular Netflix series Drive To Survive, Schumacher was promoted by Haas to bring in sponsorship dollars with arguably the biggest name ever to grace F1 — but he struggled on track as the cellar-dweller team finished eighth in the championship.

Missing from the grid for another year, there are fears Schumacher’s career may never recover.

Glock, who raced in Formula 1 for nine years before his retirement in 2012, says Steiner will have blood on his hands if Schumacher’s career dies.

“I hope he has the chance to show his real talent, and he was not able to show that in F1 in the circumstances he had with the Haas team,” Glock told MegaDice.com.

“Guenther Steiner, in my opinion, did not do his job in the right way to support a young driver coming through with such pressure on his shoulders. I think he could have delivered differently if the people around him in the team had been right. That would have made a huge difference for him.

Reserve drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Mick Schumacher talk during an F1 testing event. Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images.

Reserve drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Mick Schumacher talk during an F1 testing event. Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images.

“After F3 and F2 he went into F1 blind. This would have been the time when Michael, his father, could have been very supportive for him and would have had the right tips and been there to help in both the good and bad situations.

“How Mick handled the pressure for someone so young was outstanding. The weight on his shoulder was a lot and he still managed to deliver in F1.

“But it would have been different if the team and Guenther Steiner had been properly behind him.”

Glock said Schumacher’s head injuries suffered during his tragic skiing accident 10 years ago would continue to have an impact on Mick.

Haas F1 team principal Guenther Steiner smiles during a press conference. Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP.

Haas F1 team principal Guenther Steiner smiles during a press conference. Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP.

“Every son who had a father in F1 had a lot of pressure, Alain Prost’s son, Jean Alesi for instance, they all have the pressure of that name,” he said.

“If you add in what Mick went through with the accident with his Dad, he had three or four times more pressure on his shoulders. Having the Schumacher surname – we can’t imagine how hard it would have been for him.”

It is not the first time Steiner has been criticised for mismanaging Schumacher.

Steiner has become a well-loved paddock personality thanks to Drive to Survive, but it’s debatable whether his no-nonsense approach — which is what kept the team afloat through the last few years, to be fair — was what Schumacher needed to extract the best from himself.

Mick Schumacher and Michael Schumacher in the famous Ferrari red.

“Mick has shown that there is potential, but no matter what he did, the team and Guenther Steiner were never satisfied with it,” Ralf Schumacher wrote on the Sky Sport Deutschland website.

“He’s under constant pressure not to make any mistakes, otherwise he can’t continue to work for Haas. When you’re under that kind of pressure, you can’t drive freely.”

Ralf — hardly an unbiased observer for obvious reasons — went a step further and accused Haas of having some kind of personal animus with his nephew.

“The whole behaviour cannot be explained with normal standards. It almost has to be something personal,” he wrote. “I think that Steiner doesn’t get along with the fact that someone else is the focus at Haas.”

The German failed to gain a single point in his debut season in 2021.

He then improved in 2022, along with the car, and finished in 16th place in the Drivers‘ Championship.

However, his 12 points accrued still left him 13 points behind teammate Kevin Magnussen.

After the 2021 season, it was revealed that Mick Schumacher had caused more damage to his car in that campaign than any other driver.

The German racked up a £4million (A$7.27m) bill for the Haas team after requiring eight new front wings and nine sets of suspension.

SOURCE: NEWS.COM

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