Haas F1 Team racer Mick Schumacher found himself smack in the middle of the Formula 1 World Championship battled during the latter stages of the F1 U.S. Grand Prix on Sunday at Austin.
Of course, it wasn’t exactly the dream scenario—the dream where Schumacher himself is fighting for the championship. This time, Schumacher came under fire for not pulling over fast enough as hard-charging Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton bore down on him.
As leader Verstappen came up to lap F1 legend Michael Schumacher’s son during the intense final moments of the race, Verstappen asked his Red Bull engineer to do what he can to get Mick “out of the way”.
“I thought Mick Schumacher would cost us the win,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is quoted by Euopean media outlet Kronen Zeitung. “He stopped Max for a whole sector, but we were lucky because Max was able to use DRS on the back straight. That gave him some space against Hamilton.
“But I can tell you the stress level on the pitwall was pretty high.”
The 22-year-old Schumacher, however, defended himself.
“I can’t just vanish into thin air,” Schumacher said. “The track belongs to me as well and I was driving my race. I tried to be as straightforward and least annoying for Max as possible. And the fact that he got DRS because of me makes up for it in my opinion.
“I really don’t think anyone could have done anything different in the same situation. That’s just racing.”
Verstappen went on to win the race by 1.33 seconds over Hamilton. Schumacher finished 16th.
The incident occurred on a rare race weekend for the Haas rookie where his mother Corinna and sister Gina-Maria were both at the Texas circuit, which is located in the same state as a Schumacher family ranch.
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