Schumacher explains limited progress in second F1 season

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Mick Schumacher typically fared significantly better in his second season in motorsport's junior series, but that wasn't the case this year in F1. The German explained why.

Whether it was in Formula 3 or in Formula 2, Schumacher's development followed the same trend: the young gun would take in the characteristics of the category in season 1, and then apply his learnings and refined skills in season two with great effect.

But motorsport's feeder series offered very little technical development from one year to the other. And that was not the case in Formula 1, where a car can significantly evolve from one year to the other, not to mention the Haas team's transition this year to a new-generation machine based on the sport's new regulations.

"In the junior formulas, there is no further development between teams," Schumacher told Auto, Motor und Sport. "There, you feel the improvement as a driver much more clearly for yourself.

"In Formula 1, the teams continue to develop. We brought one big aero package, others brought several.

"That’s why it’s hard to measure yourself. If another team improves and yours doesn’t, you feel like you’re going backwards, even if you’ve gotten better as a driver.

"The important thing for me was that we regularly got better compared to ourselves."

Haas ultimately declined to extend Schumacher's contract with the US outfit into a third season, which will has left the 23-year-old without a drive for 2023.

Asked if F1 teams are impatient with young drivers, Schumacher said: "Possibly yes".

"Of course, I don’t know how other young drivers have been treated and can only speak from my own experience. It takes time."

Schumacher's errors and pair of high-profile crashes in the first half of the season were in large part what decided Haas to replace the German with his countryman, veteran F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg.

Although he laments Haas' decision, Schumacher agrees with the comment made earlier this season by team owner Gene Haas who stated that young drivers can potentially prove costly for a team.

But as far as Schumacher is concerned, without any pain, there is no gain.

"He’s certainly right about that – Formula 1 is a sport in which you have to go to the limit," he said in reaction to Haas' remark.

"To find the limit, you sometimes have to go beyond it. That’s why there are many people in the scene who say that a young driver needs at least three years to settle in. I agree with that.

"Formula 1 is a completely different caliber than all the other racing categories I’ve driven so far. I felt more comfortable every time I got into the car. You could also see that in my positive trend."

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