Dropped by Haas at the end of the 2022 season, Mick Schumacher believes he still has the capability to become a standout driver in Formula 1.
After an underwhelming and expensive opening to the 2022 season, which featured heavy shunts in Saudi Arabia and Monaco, Schumacher was able to turn the tide and get to grips with the VF-22, scoring points with a P8 finish at Silverstone and P6 in Austria to get off the mark in Formula 1.
But despite growing more competitive as the season went on, Haas decided that they needed a pair of seasoned Formula 1 veterans to take the team forward, opting to axe Schumacher and bring in Nico Hulkenberg to partner Kevin Magnussen from next season.
However, Schumacher does not believe that his two seasons in the series were enough to show what he is truly capable of becoming, which is being a “top driver”.
“Many people have already said it but I think it is worth saying again – nobody was fully a complete driver in Formula 1 after two years and there is a lot to learn still,” said Schumacher, as per GPFans.
“I intend to learn those bits and pieces and I’m sure that once I put everything together, as I have shown in junior categories, I’m sure that I can be a top driver in Formula 1 as well.
“For me personally, I know the trend which was there is what matters. You can see that consistent improvement across the course of the season and I have achieved some of the things that I wanted to achieve.
“Obviously, I haven’t managed everything but I wasn’t sure that I was going to reach those because it is Formula 1. It is obviously very different to all of the junior categories that I have had before.”
The progress took too long for Mick Schumacher
Schumacher’s past record in Formula 3 and Formula 2 showed that his second season in the category was where he had his breakthrough, and the same potentially rang true for Formula 1 as the 22-year-old did make clear positive steps throughout the 2022 campaign.
That being said, he still lacked that true breakout spell, his season improving but not exactly bursting into life following those back-to-back points-scoring rounds.
Schumacher then did not do enough in that second season to convince that he can emerge into this “top” Formula 1 talent, though there was a sense of him being in the wrong place at the wrong time with Haas.
Yuki Tsunoda for example has not exactly shone in his two seasons with AlphaTauri, but with the Red Bull Junior Team not producing the goods that it once did, Sergio Perez and Nyck de Vries the two latest additions to their Formula 1 line-ups, but this almost makes the need for Tsunoda’s presence greater than Haas’ need for Schumacher.
In the right car at the right team, Schumacher possibly could become one of the leading Formula 1 drivers, it is whether any team decides to take that chance and has the patience.