Mick Schumacher admits he wasn’t expecting to reach Q3 at the Dutch Grand Prix after putting himself in a position to score points as he fights for his future with Haas.
Haas hasn’t scored a point in the past three races since a back-to-back double points results at Silverstone and the Red Bull Ring that marked Schumacher’s first points in Formula 1. After a tough weekend in Belgium, Schumacher was comfortably quicker than teammate Kevin Magnussen in qualifying at Zandvoort and says it wasn’t a performance the team had predicted.
“Was it since Austria? It’s a while back!” Schumacher said. “It’s great to be here, we were very happy with our performance. Unexpected, we expected to go out in Q2 but to go through to Q3 and kind of repeat the lap time we did prior to Q2 was definitely decent and now we have a good starting position tomorrow.”
The German says the key to his performance was the consistent car he has had this weekend, praising Haas for the position it started from on Friday that allowed him to increase his confidence.
“We didn’t do massive changes, I think it was just a bit of fine-tuning. Luckily we started off the weekend with a great set-up so we didn’t have to do big changes which always helps and especially builds confidence over what you have under your bum and hopefully makes you fast on track.”
Schumacher is hopeful of converting his P8 on the grid into points because he doesn’t think either Yuki Tsunoda or Lance Stroll — the two drivers starting directly behind him — have a quicker car than he does.
“We’ll definitely have to look at how our tire management will go, but on the other hand we have some cars between us that are probably of a similar pace to what we are, so we just try to keep them behind us, make them fight with the others and destroy their tires and then we can keep our tires alive.”