Schumacher improvement more reflective of Haas 2021 F1 pace - Williams

Williams reckons Mick Schumacher’s recent improvement for Haas more accurately shows its rival’s car potential, after the rookie out-qualified Nicholas Latifi for Formula 1’s 2021 Spanish Grand Prix.

Schumacher improvement more reflective of Haas 2021 F1 pace - Williams

The Haas drivers had brought up the rear of the field in qualifying for each of the opening three rounds of the 2021 season – only starting ahead of Sebastian Vettel in Bahrain because of his grid penalty and likewise with Yuki Tsunoda at Imola after the AlphaTauri driver’s Q1 crash.

But Schumacher’s P18 in qualifying at Barcelona put him one spot and 0.102-seconds in front of Latifi, who he also beat in the race last time out in Portugal.

When asked by Autosport what had gone wrong for Latifi and if Schumacher’s qualifying result had come as surprise to Williams, the team’s head of vehicle performance, Dave Robson replied: “I'm not sure it's a surprise maybe.

“Because I think clearly Schumacher has been showing big improvements over the last couple of races and he was very strong in the race in Portugal.

“So, I think that's probably now a better reflection of where that car is.

“I think he's improved a lot.

“But it is disappointing with Nicholas. He's had a tough weekend really.

“He was not too bad yesterday, but not happy with the car.

“And then this morning, he was never as happy in FP3 as George was with the changes overnight, which we haven't really understood [why] yet.

Nicholas Latifi, Williams FW43B

Nicholas Latifi, Williams FW43B

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

“And then I think the main thing in qualifying was that he, to his surprise, had much better grip in Turn 9 on one of those early time laps.

“He actually ran a bit wide with some understeer, which the first time he'd had that there all weekend. [He] rode over the kerb and damaged the bargeboards on his car.

“So, I think that definitely hurt him for the following runs. We're sorting out replacements for those bargeboards ahead of [the race].

“He definitely had a wounded car as he got further into Q1. But, yeah, he's just struggled a bit this weekend, unfortunately.”

Schumacher’s Q1 time was 0.2s slower than Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen and the German reflected afterwards that he could have gone two-tenths quicker, which would have matched the 2007 world champion’s time of 1m18.917s.

In fact, had Schumacher delivered his best sectors on his final Q1 run he would have beaten Raikkonen, who did deliver his ideal qualifying lap time at the of the opening segment of qualifying, as the Haas driver would have produced a 1m18.899s.

“I think that in this lap I just did probably around two tenths [off my best],” Schumacher explained.

“That would be equal with what Kimi did. And so, I think therefore we can be quite happy.

“It's just about bringing those lap times together and closer and [making] the spread of the sectors smaller.

“So yeah, I think that in general we are quite on a good way. Definitely, we can be happy about [my qualifying] performance.”

shares
comments

Related video

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

Previous article

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

Next article

Wolff: Up to Alpine and Ocon to decide future before Mercedes input

Wolff: Up to Alpine and Ocon to decide future before Mercedes input
Load comments
The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France Plus

The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Plus

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Plus

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021 Plus

The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future Plus

Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Autosport in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Plus

How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbonfibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Plus

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Windtunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as PAT SYMONDS explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Plus

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. STUART CODLING weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021