Formula 1

Mick Schumacher: “It’s only FP2 but it does feel good to be in the top 10”

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Credit: Andy Hone / LAT Images

Mick Schumacher was excited with the potential of the VF-22 after finishing an encouraging eighth fastest in the evening free practice session at the Bahrain International Circuit on Friday.

The Haas F1 Team driver had very few opportunities in his rookie Formula 1 season in 2021 to show his pace behind the wheel as the team put all their focus into developing their 2022 challenger, but the first day in Bahrain was very strong for the German racer.

After focusing on long runs in the afternoon session, Schumacher completed twenty-four laps under the floodlights on Friday evening to place eighth, ahead of seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton.  However, he knows it is only practice at this stage, but there is a positive feeling within the team that they can be genuine points contenders in 2022.

“It was overall very positive – we made good steps at the right moment,” said Schumacher. “Now it’s just about trying to fine-tune what we have and then I think the package is there to be used.

“We’ve done quite a few long runs which seem to be positive and hopefully that will be the case on Sunday as well. It’s only FP2 but it does feel good to be in the top 10.”

“Lap times were really strong, and I’m still super excited” – Kevin Magnussen

Team-mate Kevin Magnussen, who was only confirmed at the team less than two weeks ago after the departure of Nikita Mazepin, says he was encouraged by Friday’s running in Bahrain.

Magnussen, who last raced in Formula 1 in the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, was the slowest of all the runners in the afternoon session as Haas focused purely on long-run pace.  However, he broke into the top ten in the evening’s running, even though he admitted he had not pushed as hard as he could have done.

The Danish racer says there is a lot of potential with the VF-22, and he is ‘super excited’ and looking forward to the rest of the weekend in Bahrain.

“The car has been feeling good all day again, like last week,” said Magnussen.  “In FP1 we were focusing a little more on race set-up and feeling, we weren’t trying to set a lap time.

“In FP2, we did a qualifying sim – not fully going for it – and that looked better on timings, but I think it was the long run that I was really encouraged by. It was so consistent, lap times were really strong, and I’m still super excited.”

Kevin Magnussen feels Haas’ long-run pace appeared to be strong on Friday – Credit: Mark Sutton / LAT Images
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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