If Michael had been there, Steiner would have treated Mick differently: PlanetF1

Ralf Schumacher believes that if his brother Michael had been present at Haas during Mick’s two seasons, “Günther Steiner would have behaved differently”.

Making his Formula 1 debut with Haas in 2021, Mick received the most praise as he comprehensively beat teammate Nikita Mazepin in a season where neither driver scored a point.

Steiner wasn’t concerned, however, as Haas hadn’t spent the season developing the car to fully focus on getting the drivers ready for a real fight in 2022.

Haas’ plans changed during preseason testing when the team parted ways with Mazepin and signed Kevin Magnussen as his replacement. It turned out to be a brilliant decision, however, as the Dane was in the points straight away.

That put pressure on Mick’s shoulders, which Steiner blamed for his fall in qualifying in Jeddah while he was being caught on camera by Netflix following his Monaco shunt Drive to survive Crew speaks of a “dead man”.

Schumacher still resents Steiner’s treatment of his nephew.

“You have to admit that Mick was too slow in the first half of the season and caused too much damage,” said the former Williams and Toyota driver in an interview with F1-Insider.com.

“If that is then discussed internally, I have no problem with it at all. Eddie Jordan would have been no different for me, Frank Williams has a slightly different way, but no less mean.

“But as a driver you have to live with it. You have to perform, that’s Formula 1.”

“My problem,” he continued, “was more like post-interview paraphrases like, ‘If Mick doesn’t like it with us, he doesn’t have to stay.’

“I didn’t understand that at all. What can Mick do about the conducted interview?

“And I think Mick didn’t have a fair chance either, although he did a good job. This is also very clear with Netflix.”

He says that if Mick’s father, seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, had been in the paddock, Steiner would have “behaved differently”.

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“I think so too,” he said, “and that bothers me the most: If my brother had been there, Günther Steiner would have behaved differently.

“I just think Michael’s presence would have been enough. But here, too, everyone does what they want.

“But of course Mick is family and you have to understand me: If you treat my family like that, I don’t like it as Ralf Schumacher.”

It could be argued that Schumacher’s criticism of Mick’s ex-team boss didn’t help his nephew, as former F1 driver Martin Brundle said the team was “fed up with Mick’s entourage and all the pressure that came with it”.

However, Schumacher does not back down in his criticism of Steiner.

“I don’t see it any differently today,” he said. “I think it’s a shame it had to come to this.

“I think that as an experienced man you don’t treat a young person like that. Everyone in Formula 1 can and must withstand pressure, but that was just too much.”

This season, Mick has followed his father to join Mercedes, with the 23-year-old signing the team as the official reserve driver for the year.


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