Mick Schumacher Has Modest Goals for Return to Haas F1 for 2022

Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin are returning to Hass F1 Team in 2022.

Haas F1 Team confirmed the lineup on Thursday, ahead of this weekend’s F1 Russian Grant Prix at Sochi. The deal keeps both drivers in the same seats for at least one more season.

Schumacher, 22, was rumored to be in contention for a seat at Alfa Romeo for next year, but in the end, Haas and Ferrari decided to keep the son of seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher at Haas for another season.

Schumacher, a Ferrari Academy driver, is believed to be on track to one day drive at Ferrari. In the meantime, the goals remain modest at Haas.

“Hopefully, we’ll be in the midpack,” Schumacher said during media availability on Thursday, when asked about 2022 goals. “I think that’s a goal that’s achievable. We know that we’ve started a bit earlier than everybody else on that project. We spent for sure most of our budget for this year to that, too. Hopefully that will just give us a bit of an edge, especially at the beginning of the year, and hopefully, we’ll be able to say that we’re consistently in the points. I think that definitely be a very big step forwards, and just know that we’ll be working very, very hard to achieve that.”

Haas made no secret of the fact that it pulled the plug early on development of its 2021 cars. The results have been no surprise. The team is last in the F1 Constructors’ Championship and has yet to score so much as a single point in 2021. It’s the teams worst showing in its six years in Formula 1.

As for Schumacher, his best finish so far is a 12th-place finish in Hungary (six of the 20 cars in the field in that race were knocked out by crash and a seventh was disqualified). Schumacher has finished just three of 14 races on the lead lap. If there is a positive, Schumacher has gotten plenty of seat time in his rookie season, as he’s been running at the end in all 14 races.

Schumacher has outqualified teammate Mazepin 11 times in 14 races. Still, Schumacher wants more out of his race weekend.

Much more.

“In terms of qualifying, (that’s where) we’re the closest to the cars ahead,” Schumacher said. “In the races, we’re still a bit adrift and struggle to put everything together. But, yeah, definitely the races this year have been OK at times, but mainly difficult, and the qualifyings have been quite enjoyable and definitely very fun to complete.

“Of course, qualifying (for us) is quite short at the moment. If the day you arrive to Q2 and Q3 and you get to plan and use strategy, I think that is something that is very very interesting. I’m very much looking forward to that.”

Team principal Guenther Steiner said that both Schumacher and Mazepin are being rewarded with new deals for how they’ve navigated a difficult season.

“It’s been a tough season for sure with the package we’ve had, but at the same time they’ve both embraced the challenge and worked closely with the team to learn our processes and adapt to the rigors of a Formula 1 campaign and all that brings – both internally and externally,” Steiner said. “Now as we look ahead to the 2022 season, we’re confident we can move forward as a team and give Mick and Nikita a competitive race package to make the next step in their Formula 1 careers.”

The announcement leaves just one seat left unsettled on the grid for 2022. Alfa Romeo earlier announced that current Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas will occupy one seat. The other seat, currently occupied by Antonio Giovinazzi, has not been confirmed for 2022. It’s believed that Formula 2 driver Guanyu Zhou is a front-runner for that seat, while Giovinazzi is also in the running.

Zhou is currently second in the Formula 2 standings with three race weekends remaining.

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