'Happy' Haas praise Schumacher's 'excellent attitude'

Mick Schumacher (GER) Haas VF-20 Test Driver. 11.12.2020
© XPB 

Haas has commended Mick Schumacher's approach to his role in the Abu Dhabi post-season young drivers test.

That's despite the 21-year-old being the slowest of the 15 drivers taking part on Tuesday, with the team opting to focus on understanding tyre performance over long runs rather than putting in qualifying efforts.

Schumacher completed 125 laps with a best time of 1:39.947s which was 3.5 seconds down on the fastest lap of the day set by Renault's Fernando Alonso.

Even so, Schumacher declared himself very happy with his progress, as he works toward his Grand Prix debut with the team next year.

"I feel pretty good, obviously I’m very happy I managed to do so many laps, it’s not always a given in testing," he commented after the end of the session.

"We focused on a good amount of laps, and a valuable amount of laps, which was very positive.

"The key point from today was just to understand the tyres a little more. For that, the long runs were very good.

"I think we achieved that, and I now have a pretty good knowledge of what I need to do although the tyres might be a bit different next year.

"I feel very comfortable, I know the team’s happy, so that’s good. I really was so happy to be in the car and it was so much fun to drive. I’m really looking forward to next year."

Haas' director of engineering Ayao Komatsu was equally satisfied with how the first full day with Schumacher in the cockpit had gone.

"We really focused on him understanding the car, and then adjusting the car balance to suit and to get the best out of Mick," he explained.

"We really didn’t focus on one lap performance or anything like that, we simply wanted to get him to understand various things like different fuel loads. We also focused on tyre management on high fuel runs.

"It was really good for Mick to experience long runs, both at high track temperature and towards the end of the day when track temperature was then at its coolest.

"We ran both C4 and C5 tyres on long runs. He was making lots of adjustments by himself and using the tools available to him.

"He completed 125 laps. His fitness was absolutely no problem. He completely understood the program in terms of what we wanted to achieve today," Komatsu added. "He also did 11 starts from the F2 pit lane. His procedures improved as the day continued to the point he was at a pretty good level.

"All-in-all we’re very happy. His attitude was excellent, as was his understanding of the program, his understanding of the car and working with the engineers to improve his tyre management.

"It was excellent. We’re very happy.”

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