Ferrari impressed by Schumacher pace, expect Haas stay for 2022

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Ferrari has been impressed by Mick Schumacher's performance alongside Nikita Mazepin at Haas this season.

The German has largely outclassed his Russian teammate, and fellow F2 graduate, so far, beating him in every qualifying session he has participated in and only finishing behind on race day twice in Monaco and Silverstone.

While that might seem like the bare minimum for Schumacher to have achieved given his status, Ferrari's Jock Clear, who coaches Charles Leclerc and the other Academy members, admits the immediacy of Mick's dominance wasn't expected.

“Yes. And somewhat surprised,” he said if he was happy with the 22-year-old's progression on the Beyond the Grid podcast.

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“Obviously we’ve worked with him for quite a while now in the Ferrari Driver Academy and we know him quite well.

“I’m quite impressed with his out-and-out speed this year, to be honest. People said to me at the beginning of the year ‘yes, but how will he get on against Mazepin?’ and I said I wouldn’t be surprised if Mazepin starts off outqualifying him a few times because Mick takes a while to get up to speed – but actually, not the case.”

Schumacher has also made a few errors, notably missing out on qualifying both in Monaco and Hungary due to heavy crashes in final practice.

But his main issue has been an ability to fight higher up the field in a Haas car that has been comfortably the slowest on the grid for much of the season.

“We can’t really judge either driver’s ultimate pace because the car is difficult to drive,” his race engineer Gary Gannon explained to The Race.

“Sometimes we have to run less downforce for the circuit efficiency and it makes us very much on the limit. So at a place like Silverstone, the gap opens up.

“I don’t think we have had a perfect qualifying yet, but he’s always improving and trying to get closer to that perfect lap. It’s quite early in the season though and the expectation was it takes him a year to get close to that perfect lap and he’s improving a lot.

“For example, Silverstone. Again, it wasn’t satisfying because of where we were, but he improved every run, so if he’s improving every run and there are no big mistakes then he’s getting the most out of the car.

“It’s hard to not overdrive when trying to find a big leap in lap time to threaten the cars ahead, so he has to pull himself back a bit to not do that because when you do this overdrive and you are 0.7s off it looks like a failed qualifying.”

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Haas are hopeful their strategy of focusing solely on next year's new regulations will allow them to move up the order, and Schumacher is expected to be retained alongside Mazepin.

“There are a few things which just need to be sorted out,” team boss Guenther Steiner explained via

“It’s a three-way contract obviously because he’s got one with Ferrari. There’s needs to be a few ‘t’s crossed and a few ‘i’s dotted and then we will get there.

“Mick is right in saying he’s not signed, there are agreements in place but because it’s a three-way it’s always more difficult than when it is a straightforward one-to-one contract.”

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto though has said the plan is for the German to stay put.

"Mick Schumacher's first season is a learning one, without pressure, and we're talking with Haas to confirm him there [for 2022]," he said via Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.