Haas’ bet comes at a high price
At the end of the Formula 1 season, it is time to assess the performance of all the teams and all the drivers. We start to GPblog with the evaluation of the last team in this year’s final standings: Haas.
For Haas, 2021 was always going to be a tough year. The American team had already decided not to think for a second about this year. Everything was focused on the 2022 car, so the two rookies the team named to the car have had a rough first year.
From Haas’ perspective, it’s understandable that they chose this scenario, but it’s risky. First, money was lost in 2021 because a better car could have earned more points, but it is also questionable whether your design is correct. Even if you’ve worked on it for a whole year, it can still go wrong in 2022.
In this regard, Haas took a huge gamble and we’ll have to wait and see how it works out. The same goes for the choice of pilots. With Mick Schumacher Haas has a talented driver and it will be interesting to see what he can do with a competition car, but Nikita Mazepin was far behind. (His father’s) money will hopefully make up for a lot in the pursuit of better results.
The figures from the internal Haas duel show what could also be seen with the naked eye: Mazepin is much worse than Schumacher. Both made their Formula 1 debuts with a lousy car, but it’s clear that one of them is just a little more talented than the other.
Mick Schumacher has had a solid first year. Although he failed to score a point, he came out of Q3 once and left his teammate far behind in qualifying and races. This is all you can do as a driver. The question is to what extent Mazepin is a good measure for Schumacher.
Mick has shown with several crashes that there is still room for improvement. For him, it’s a shame that there isn’t anyone on the team he can learn from. Romain Grosjean or Kevin Magnussen would have been an ideal reference to allow him to progress. Now he’s a bit lonely.
On the track, the Russian often finds himself turning around or beside a wall, and if he manages to keep his car on the track, he is much slower than his teammate.
If his teammate was an experienced F1 driver, you could say “he’s just a beginner”. But now his teammate is also a rookie and he’s still beaten. It could be that Schumacher is a world class talent and that is why the gap is so big, but a more plausible scenario is that Mazepin is in F1 mainly because of his money.