As he evaluated Mick Schumacher's performance over 22 races, Sebastian Vettel driver acknowledged how difficult it has been.
It goes without saying that Sebastian Vettel and Mick Schumacher are close friends. And the four-time champion has heaped praise on the Haas rookie, praising his fellow German’s work ethic in the midst of a difficult first season in F1. Vettel has served as a mentor to Schumacher, who has just finished his first F1 season with Haas – the team having decided to forego development of their VF-21 car in anticipation of the new era in 2022 – without scoring a point. As he evaluated Schumacher’s performance over 22 races, the Aston Martin driver acknowledged how difficult it has been for the 22-year-old.
“Well I think it’s difficult to judge because the car has been so far off,” began Vettel, “but for those who were looking and looking closely – obviously I’ve been following and yes, I think he did an incredible job with such a poor car to reach qualifying segment two a couple of times, to have strong showings in the race, fight some of the other cars that are much faster, stick with the cars ahead that are supposed to be much faster. That’s a great effort.”
“More so, he’s been a huge lift for the entire team; I think the offset from the start of the season for that team was poor because they had no development and they were far behind. But I think if you look throughout the year, Mick’s been very happy and enthusiastic and happy to put work in. He’s been one of the first ones, if not the first one, every single day to come to the paddock and one of the latest ones to leave,” he added.
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Schumacher finished P12 this season (up from P20 in Hungary) and 14th in Abu Dhabi as the sole Haas starter, as teammate Nikita Mazepin was unable to compete due to a positive Covid-19 test. As Haas has spent 2021 preparing for the following season, Vettel concluded by expressing his hope that Schumacher will be given a car worthy of his performances in 2022.
“He’s shown great interest in trying to push the team along, so apart from the job on track that he did, apart from some small mistakes that happen in your first year, I think he’s done a great job. So I really wish he gets a much better job next year to show what he’s able to do,” concluded the veteran.
The pair will be reunited for the Race Of Champions in February 2022, when they will represent Team Germany, just as Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel did when they won the Nations Cup six times in a row.