Schumacher says team pressure like 'candle lit under the bum'


Mick Schumacher credited the pressure he's been under at Haas and his first career points in F1 for lighting a fuse that has taken his performance and confidence to the next level.

In Austria, for the second race in succession, Schumacher scored a top-ten finish, the young German improving on his eighth-place finish at Silverstone by crossing the checkered flag a strong P6 at the Red Bull Ring that earned a 'Driver of the Day' plaudit from F1's fans.

Along the way, the 23-year-old enjoyed several spirited battles in F1's competitive mid-field, including with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

And Schumacher also had the upper hand in Sunday's race over Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen.

"It was a lot of fun out there," he admitted after thanking the fans for voting him as their Driver of the Day.

"We had to battle our way through which at times you don’t want, but in this case it was great for experience and to really show what we were able to do out there."

Schumacher's string of points at Silverstone and at Spielberg have come after a difficult period marked by disappointing results in the first part of the 2022 season – his second in F1 – and two very costly crashes suffered in Saudi Arabia and in Monaco.

The latter compelled Haas team boss Guenther Steiner to give his young driver the riot act, warning Schumacher that any additional crash might jeopardized his future with the US outfit.

Schumacher received the message loud and clean, admitting that he actually welcomed the pressure.

"As athletes you’re always after that pressure because that’s what’s going to light that candle under the bum to make you go quick!" he said.

"And it did in some ways. In Silverstone coming into the points was just what I needed to really set off fireworks in my case."

Contrary to all of its rivals, Haas' most recent performances have been achieved without the team relying on an upgrade package, a benefit that the team will enjoy after F1's summer break.

Schumacher hopes the team's new-spec VF-22 will further boost the team's midfield status.

"I think we're all going in the right direction," commented Schumacher.

"We scored points at Silverstone, we scored today, we could have scored points yesterday, so it shows a steep upway trend which is really what we're after.

"And hopefully, we'll be able to keep it at Paul Ricard and in Budapest before the summer break and then really start off well with the new update and the upgrades that we will have on the car into a really strong second part of the season."

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