Former Scuderia Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger has shared his thoughts on why Ferrari junior Mick Schumacher has been able to recently improve his performances after a difficult start to the 2022 Formula One championship for Haas.
Despite his recent strong form, Mick Schumacher’s future in Formula 1 is not certain, following a series of bad race weekends in the first part of the campaign.
The 23-year-old German driver was not able to capitalize on the decent speed of his Haas car during the first rounds of the championship, being somewhat outpaced by his more experienced Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen. A few incidents such as the crashes in qualifying for Saudi Arabia and in the Monaco Grand Prix did not help the Ferrari junior.
However, Mick Schumacher has been able to show an improved form in the last few races: the young German driver took his maide Formula 1 points at the Silverstone Circuit in the British Grand Prix and then confirmed the positive moment with another top ten finish at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
In an interview for the F1 Nation podcast, 10-time Grand Prix winner Gerhard Berger was asked whether the famous Schumacher surname was a help or a hinderance for his Formula 1 career, as the former Ferrari driver then talked about what he feels is the reason behind Mick Schumacher’s improvement in form.
“I think it has at least as many advantages as disadvantages, so it’s balanced out at the end of the day. I think until you arrive in a place where Mick is now [in F1] it’s an advantage,” Gerhard Berger explained.
“Now he just needs to deliver, and I think it looks like he needs all this pressure to be capable of delivering what he has to deliver. When this pressure starts with [Haas team boss] Guenther Steiner and so on, and all these discussions start, then suddenly it clicked with Mick. He did two bloody good races.” – he continued.
Given the fact that Mick Schumacher is now taking part in his second Formula One championship, and Haas can count on a better car than last year, the expectation to increase performances has heightened.
Teammate Kevin Magnussen was called back in at short notice before the start of the 2022 F1 campaign in order to replace Russian driver Nikita Mazepin, who was outpaced by Mick Schumacher in the previous season.
Kevin Magnussen now represents an established benchmark with which to compare Mick Schumacher, and the Dane started the year stronger, outscoring his younger teammate by 22 points to 12.
Despite Mick Schumacher’s form improving over the last few events, Gerhard Berger feels that the Ferrari Driver Academy member has to beat his team-mate more often to be able to earn his place on the grid for next season:
“It was clear from the beginning that he needs to be faster than Magnussen,” added Gerhard Berger – “If you are a young driver and coming up and you want to be one of the new stars, you need to beat your teammate and, [at the Austrian GP], I said, ‘Well, maybe he’s capable of doing it’.”