Ferrari Driver Academy member Mick Schumacher was close to scoring his first F1 points in last weekend’s Miami Grand Prix, but an incident with former Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel in the final stages of the race at Miami International Autodrome led to both of them finishing outside the points zone in Florida.
The first to come to the defence of the Ferrari junior was French racing driver Esteban Ocon, who was sitting behind the German driver as Mick Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel were fighting for ninth place and therefore was in the best position to see the events unfold as the Haas of Mick darted to the inside and tagged the four-time world champion. Both suffered significant damage, with Esteban Ocon taking advantage to win two positions and get into the points zone. and giving the 25-year-old two positions.
Sebastian Vettel admitted after the Miami Grand Prix that the incident was “stupid” on both their parts, but confirmed that there were no hard feelings, with which the Haas driver agreed: “[The] same from my side. It’s nice that I can learn from him and he so valuable to me as a friend and obviously we are all racers,” he said, as reported by Sky Sports.
The crash means that Mick Schumacher missed a great opportunity to score at least one point and has now completed 27 F1 events without a top ten finish. However, Esteban Ocon is certain that Mick Schumacher will continue to improve and eventually score positive results:
“We talked about it but Mick knows exactly what he has to do. He’s a Formula 1 driver, has a lot of talent and therefore doesn’t need my advice at all,” he added.
The Alpine driver confirmed what several driver stated during the Miami weekend, the fact that the lack of grip was significant on the loose track surface and this is the key factor that caused the crash: “The tarmac was a complete disaster because we couldn’t overtake on it. Mick touched Sebastian partly because you couldn’t attack from the inside. If you went off the ideal line, you lost half a second.” – Esteban Ocon continued.
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner, who is well-known for being ruthless in his assessments, admitted that Mick Schumacher needs to learn from the incident: “We only have ourselves to blame for that. We have to exploit our potential. We can’t always say that there will be another race next weekend, because at some point the season will be over and we’ll still be waiting for the 24th grand prix.”
Ralf Schumacher, six-time race winner in Formula 1 and uncle of Mick, explained that his nephew’s gentle personality is not always compatible with Guenther Steiner’s direct approach.: “Mick and Steiner don’t fit together in character. An outwardly tough guy like Kevin Magnussen suits Steiner better,” he said at the end of the 2022 Miami Grand Prix.
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Despite the unfortunate outcome of the last race, Ralf is still pleased with the fact that Mick Schumacher was able to out-performing his more experienced teammate Kevin Magnussen during the weekend: “What was more important to me is that Mick had a very good weekend. He was consistently faster than his teammate and created the basis for himself to finish in the points using his own strength.”
At the same time, Ralf Schumacher feels that Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto will be relatively satisfied with the German’s progress: “So the trend is going in the right direction, and that is exactly what Mattia Binotto wants to see.” – the Sky Germany expert and co-commentator concluded.