It’s been rumoured that Schumacher’s future with the team could be temporary after a couple of huge crashes at the beginning of the 2022 F1 season, but after being voted ‘driver of the day’ at the Austrian Grand Prix and receiving points for two consecutive races – his first points in his career, Steiner doesn’t want to give in to the pressure and talk about his future.
“I don’t know if there was a certain moment when he broke through – sometimes you just have to get used to the car and the pressure,” Steiner told f1-insider.com.
“But I already noticed in Canada that Mick seemed much more relaxed. Maybe he wanted to force it before and now the puzzle pieces just fall into place, but either way, Mick is on a roll at the moment.”
Continuing, he insists that he put no internal pressure on Schumacher:
“Internally, there was no great pressure, although externally, some people tried to find drama. But pressure is normal,” Steiner said.
“Accidents are part of the journey and so is criticism. This is Formula 1.
“You have to learn to deal with all these background noises and now Mick has done that.”
The German racing driver is now feeling very optimistic for this season, even seeing a potential podium in Hungary after upgrades:
“In theory it should be like this,” Schumacher told Bild newspaper. “Budapest would definitely be a nice spot for some champagne.”
Steiner admits that he’s yet to talk contracts with Schumacher, but something could be coming soon:
“We never talk about contract extensions at Haas before the summer break.
“Some people can’t wait for discussions to start, but we do it according to our schedule, not because people are asking for it.”
Steiner continued, adding that the Schumacher name could bite them if things don’t go to plan:
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“His last name has a long history in Formula 1,” he said. “But that can also become a liability if it doesn’t work.
“At the moment, it works. And now we have to stabilise that,” he added. “I think Mick has even more potential and it’s part of the game that things sometimes get uncomfortable when you want to uncover that.
“But what kind of team boss would I be if I didn’t push my driver?”