Mick Schumacher Q&A: Emilia Romagna Grand PrixApril 13, 2021
Mick Schumacher previews this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the second race of the 2021 season.
Having had time to digest and reflect on your debut Formula 1 weekend in Bahrain – what specifically stands out as a key learning you can take from that event and apply moving forward?
“I think in general I’ve learned a ton of new things, and we’ve seen that come through in all the meetings we’ve had. It’s always different talking about it and feeling it. There are a lot of things I learned about the tires, that’s probably the biggest new thing to me. Also, on things like how much downforce we lose at the start of the race. It’s like going from 100 percent downforce to 20 percent downforce the moment you’re turning into a corner. There was definitely lots learned and lots to look at before heading to Imola. I feel I have a lot more knowledge, a lot more comfort, but I was also really surprised at how quickly the weekend was over. It all happened in the blink of an eye – it was a case of little time and lots to learn, let’s put it like that.”
With the intensity of pre-season testing followed almost immediately by the Bahrain Grand Prix, there’s now been a longer than usual two-week break between races. How have you used this time both professionally and personally to recharge ahead of Imola?
“We had a few team meetings after the weekend as usual, obviously to put a point on what we learned, trying to put it all together ahead of Imola. I’ve been preparing myself physically, while doing a bit of recovery too. I’ve really just been focused 100 percent on going to Imola.”
What are your memories of racing at Imola in your junior career?
“I only have good memories there to be honest. I’ve raced at Imola in F4 and done a few tests in F3. Honestly, all of the experiences I’ve had there are great. We had a track walk there once and saw five peacocks, which was a new one for me. The track is amazing to drive. Racing-wise it can be quite difficult, with very few places to overtake. Once you’re in a flow and set a nice lap it’s amazing, especially how one corner follows after another. There are quick corners, technical corners, the kerbs that you have to ride. There’s definitely lots to look forward to in a Formula 1 car.”
Describe the specific characteristics of the Imola circuit and what you need from a car to push there. What preparations have your undertaken before racing there for the first time in a Formula 1 car?
“Obviously, Imola is known for a lot of kerb riding. You have the two corners up in the chicane where you have to take a lot of kerb. We have some long corners which follow into long straights. Everything’s basically very twisted. In all the junior categories that I’ve raced there, it was always very fun, and a track I enjoyed driving. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a lot better in a Formula 1 car. It’s amazing to drive a Formula 1 car, so to do that on a super cool track will be even more special. I’m definitely looking forward to it. Regarding preparation, I’ve been speaking through it all with the team and going through the notes I made there when I was young.”