Schumacher’s openness ‘helpful to everyone’, says Haas F1 chief engineer

Mick Schumacher’s open and constructive approach to trying different things is proving “helpful to everyone” at Haas through his rookie Formula 1 season, according to chief race engineer Ayao Komatsu.

Schumacher’s openness ‘helpful to everyone’, says Haas F1 chief engineer
Listen to this article

2020 F2 champion Schumacher graduated to F1 this year with Haas, and has so far led its efforts at the rear of the field, beating teammate Nikita Mazepin in all but two races both drivers have finished.

Schumacher has regularly been heard exchanging feedback with race engineer Gary Gannon on team radio, and has also welcomed advice from four-time F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Komatsu highlighted Schumacher’s openness and willingness to try out different ideas or approaches, taking the team’s feedback on board even if he is personally unsure about it.

“It was clear to all of us from the beginning that he is very, very open to all the ideas,” Komatsu said. “So if we tell him, 'OK, let's try this, why don't we go into this direction?', even when he doesn't agree with that, he's happy to try it. Whether it's a car setup, or just the management, the driving style, for one lap, for race distance, he will always try it.

“Then that will give us a very good data. Whether it works or not work, either way, he did it, so that we got the data and feedback.

“All that openness and the willingness to try everything, and then be able to be constructive when the situation, like, I think it was Baku, where we had a car problem. His session was so discontinuous. Of course, I'm sure he was frustrated and angry in the car.

“But even then [he stayed] very calm, constructive, gave us amazing feedback. So when you work like that, it's helpful to everyone.

“He made a big step in all areas, but [in] tyre management, I think he's made a pretty big step in last few races.”

Read Also:

Mazepin has been open about his own difficulties with the Haas VF-21 car through his own rookie season, struggling with a slightly heavier chassis than Schumacher and a difficult aero package that has left him feeling “quite lost” on set-up.

Komatsu said that the drivers needed “quite different” things from the Haas car, and that it took the team time to fully understand their varying styles.

“Nikita likes much more stability, especially into high-speed corners, and Mick can deal with it,” Komatsu said.

“But then sometimes to look after the tyres in the race, we need to almost put more focus on having a car that is easy on tyres. So their requirement is actually quite different. It took some time for us to understand that.

“I think we are getting there in that sense. But one thing is to get the performance out for one lap, another thing is for the 300 kilometres on Sunday [with] tyre management.

“Mick is actually doing very well. He took a pretty good step recently. Nikita is getting there as well. He was a bit behind initially. Part of it is for us as well to understand how different, let's say, a characteristic Nikita needs for him to be comfortable.

“We are still working on that. But then he's improving as well. We’re just working continuously on that.”

shares
comments

Related video

Red Bull evidence will put British GP crash in ‘different light’
Previous article

Red Bull evidence will put British GP crash in ‘different light’

Next article

McLaren backs decision to delay F1 pitstop clampdown until Belgian GP

McLaren backs decision to delay F1 pitstop clampdown until Belgian GP
The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever Prime

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever

OPINION: The effectiveness of DRS in Formula 1 remains a topic of debate as the winter break gives a chance for reflection on the racing we saw in 2022. For all of its detractors, perhaps an experiment where DRS is cast aside and the impact this has on racing is in order to truly understand its merits in modern F1.

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Prime

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Prime

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022