Mick Schumacher Q&A: Saudi Arabian Grand PrixMarch 23, 2022
Mick previews this weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, as Jeddah hosts its second ever Formula 1 race, just over three months after the inaugural event.
Your best Grand Prix finish in Formula 1 in 11th place, and so close to getting your first points as well. How do you evaluate the opening race of the season?
“So close, yet so far. I made the call that I wanted to try and stay out and keep track position, which I now know was the wrong decision, but we’ll be better next time. The first race of the year is normally quite a messy one, as we saw, but we’ve learned from it. It was a bittersweet day as the team collected a lot of points and it was great to see after so many years of problems to be back in a good position.”
After only three months, Formula 1 is back in Jeddah for Round 2 of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship – the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Changes have been made to the track to improve sightline for drivers and the exit of 27 has been widened by 1.5 meters, making the track potentially even quicker – are you excited to take the VF-22 for a lap around the fastest street track in Formula 1?
“It will be the first time for us to get out on a street circuit, so it will be interesting to see how things develop, how close we can get to the walls and what potential damage there is if you do touch the wall. For example, last year if you did grind the wall a little you would get away with it with a bit of tire just scraped off but in this case the rims are a much more vulnerable target so it will be for sure easier to run into trouble. It will be interesting to see what happens and how drivers will be able to cope with it.”
After testing and one race on a custom-built circuit, how do you expect the new cars to handle across a very fast and flowing Jeddah Corniche Circuit?
“The bouncing of the car might potentially be a bit worse just because of the characteristics of the track maybe being bumpy and obviously quite quick. It will be interesting to see what kind of feeling we’ll get in the car but I’m sure it will be fine and we will manage.”
It was a challenging race for the team last season. With so much drama happening up and down the grid, do you think there will be a more cautious approach considering how crucial running is currently to understand these new cars?
“The races turn out as they do so I guess it will be hard to predict what is going to happen. I don’t see people being more cautious just because of the nature of it and if anything, actually because of the new cars people will try to go harder on it, especially at the beginning of the year to get more out of it.”