Mick Schumacher Q&A: Portuguese and Spanish GPsApril 27, 2021
Mick previews the next two Grands Prix, as Formula 1 heads to Portugal and then Spain.
Looking back you had the chance to experience Pirelli’s Cinturato Blue and Green extreme wet and intermediate tires in Italy – but without the luxury of it being in a test or practice session. As a rookie, how much of a challenge was it to experience a Formula 1 car in the wet immediately in race conditions?
“It definitely wasn’t easy to hop in directly to a full wet race. Obviously, most of the guys started on inters, and partially because we were a bit inexperienced, that’s why we chose to start on the full wets. It was definitely the easier and safer way but looking at it now with the experience that I have, I probably would have started on the inters. If we have a wet race again, and if it’s not 100 percent sure if it’s wet or inters, or if it looks like it’s going to dry up, then I’d definitely start on the inters. No situation is identical though, there’s always something new and something else happening. You have to assess it in the moment. There was definitely lots learned, it was great fun and a great experience. I liked the mixed conditions.”
Two races in and you have encountered two very different circuits and conditions through Bahrain and Italy. How did you find the switch between the two tracks?
“It was quite difficult jumping from a track where we had quite a bit of testing and then the race, to then move to a track where we barely had any free practice time and you have to straight away perform at your best level. It’s definitely not easy but it’s a nice challenge. I enjoy that challenge and I enjoyed Imola. I find that as a team we made a good step forward. We learned lots with lots to take into the next race weekend in Portimao.”
Back-to-back race weekends offer little opportunity for reflection with the demands involved of moving on to the next race. As a driver how do you prepare for the intensity of back-to-back races – is it simply a case of the more track time the better for you?
“I think that the back-to-back races are definitely interesting, there were loads of them last year obviously due to the difficult year everybody had. We too had to have a few back-to-backs in Formula 2 as we had to get a certain amount of races in. I think it’s important we asses everything that happens in the race week, take the positives and learn from the negatives, and then you bring those things straight into the next week. Obviously, there’s not a lot of time in-between, but I enjoy having back-to-back races as its just loads of mileage, lots of time in the car and time spent with the team. You spend a lot of time with your team anyway and now we get to do it consecutively and work together really closely throughout this time period.”
What experiences do you have of testing or racing at Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal?
“I tested there in 2018 in a GP2 car. It’s a great track, I really love driving on it. I think it’s like an old-school track, similar to Imola. It’s good for us too as teams don’t have a lot of experience there – just the experience from last year. I think that will bring the competition closer which is really good.
Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya is a track familiar to you, most notably from the past two seasons competing in Formula 2. How much of an advantage for you is it to be heading to a circuit you’re familiar with?
“Barcelona, I guess it’s not a huge advantage for me, firstly as I think everybody’s driven it and every team kind of does their baseline there. Every simulator you go to it’s mostly Barcelona as the track you start on and everybody has a lot of experience on it.”