Ralf Schumacher has highlighted a “very annoying” aspect of the heavy crash his nephew Mick experienced in Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying.
The Haas driver smashed into a barrier at high speed while pushing to reach Q3 for the first time in his Formula 1 career, with major damage sustained by the car but fortunately no injuries to Schumacher himself.
Not long after the qualifying session, with the 23-year-old having been taken to hospital for precautionary checks, the Haas team announced Schumacher would not be competing in the following day’s race at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.
The decision was not so much a result of his own wellbeing, more that a rebuild of the VF-22 would not have been viable from a logistical and cost perspective.
Therefore, Schumacher sat out the grand prix while his team-mate Kevin Magnussen finished ninth, scoring points for the second consecutive race in a Haas car massively more competitive than was the case last season.
With the Dane having hit the ground running since his return to the team as replacement for ousted Nikita Mazepin, Schumacher’s uncle, six-time F1 race winner Ralf, believes the 2020 Formula 2 champion can ill-afford to be missing out due to crashes.
In his Sky Germany column, Ralf said the accident was “a problem” for Mick and added: “Now he is missing one race of experience. The mistake had very strong consequences, very annoying. But the most important thing is nothing happened to him.”
Nevertheless, the 46-year-old former Williams, Jordan and Toyota driver believes the son of his brother Michael has what it takes to shrug off the Jeddah incident and push for his first F1 points at the Australian Grand Prix.
“Mick’s crash looked very dramatic, of course, but every racing driver chops off such an accident very quickly,” said Schumacher.
“And it was obvious it wasn’t that bad for him, he is super-fit. It’s more pride because he was on a fast lap and made a mistake.
“The team then had to decide not to let him drive so there would be enough parts for the next race in Melbourne. Haas couldn’t take the risk – there are too few spare parts and the car was a complete write-off. And if something had happened again, he wouldn’t have been able to compete in Melbourne.”
Round three of this season will be Mick’s first experience of racing at Albert Park, although he said: “I’ve been to Australia with my father and seen him race there. I have fond memories of that, so I’m looking forward all the more to being able to drive on this great track myself.”
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