Mick Schumacher currently has a “bitter” taste to withstand at Haas, and could end up by the wayside in Formula 1 if he does not improve, warns two-time World Rally champion Walter Röhrl.
Kevin Magnussen returned to the team as a late replacement for Nikita Mazepin at the start of the season, after the Russian was removed from his seat at Haas, and the more experienced Dane has slotted back in seamlessly and out-performed Schumacher this season so far.
The Dane has 15 points to his name so far this season, while the German is still yet to score his first point in Formula 1, and has suffered a couple of both high-speed and expensive crashes that will not have done him any favours within the team.
Röhrl, four times a Monte Carlo Rally winner during his career, believes Magnussen’s return to the sport has highlighted the level Schumacher needs to raise himself to if he is to continue in Formula 1 beyond the end of the year.
“That is currently bitter for Mick Schumacher, because Kevin Magnussen, who has returned to Formula 1 after a one-year break, has him well in hand,” Röhrl told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, per Motorsport-Magazin.
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“That puts additional pressure on him, brings explosiveness into the team and doesn’t make it any easier.”
Team principal Guenther Steiner admitted that Haas “need to see how they move forward from here” in budgetary terms after Schumacher’s hefty shunt in Monaco, which saw him plough into the barrier in the Swimming Pool section after running ’10 centimetres too wide’ – which left his team with a big repair bill to foot.
And while the team will want to tryst their driver, that support will not go on forever.
“He simply has far too many accidents at the moment, all of which cost a lot, a lot of money,” Röhrl said. “If nothing comes, they won’t keep going indefinitely. Formula 1 is brutal and cold.”
The pressure and prestige that comes with carrying the Schumacher name in the Formula 1 paddock is not lost on the Haas driver either, but Röhrl warned that he may not possess the outright natural quality of his father, and he will need to seize initiative within the team sooner rather than later.
“There is the expectation that he has to be the big star. It’s hard and heavy,” he said.
“It looks like he doesn’t have the outstanding talent that his father had. He drove at the front straight away. Whereas in the meantime, of course, times have changed and cars are becoming more and more important and people less and less important.
“It will be seen whether he can withstand the pressure and hold his own [against Magnussen] at some point.”
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