Haas team principal addresses calling Mick Schumacher a 'dead horse'
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner recently explained what he meant when he called Mick Schumacher a 'dead horse'. This particular statement was picked up by Netflix's Drive to Survive cameras and microphone and was included in an episode in season 5. There was a lot of backlash against Steiner after fans heard the statement.
Speaking to Bild, the Haas team boss stated that he did not want to compare Schumacher to Nico Hulkenberg. He then explained how his statement about the young German driver was misunderstood and that he was only using the term as an idiom that is usually used in the US. He said:
“I don’t want to compare that because I don’t have a single word for what Nico is doing. The statement about Mick was misunderstood. It’s an idiom in America. Calling it something dead makes it sound extreme. But I didn’t want to say that Mick was dead or anything. That was perhaps an awkward statement because the German translation was far too harsh and direct.”
Later on, Steiner explained how he does not have a bad relationship with Schumacher. The Haas boss admitted that though he hardly sees the 24-year-old, he will stop and talk with him for a while whenever he gets the time. He concluded:
"I hardly see him. We said hello in the paddock when we walked in. I personally have no problem with the boy. The relationship was made worse than it was. It might not have been fantastic, but it certainly wasn’t bad.”
After several poor performances from Schumacher, Haas had to replace the son of the legendary Michael Schumacher with Nico Hulkenberg after the 2022 F1 season. Young Schumacher eventually joined Mercedes as a reserve driver.
Haas VF-23's performance better than the team's expectations
Haas F1 trackside engineer director Ayao Komatsu explained that the VF-23's baseline performance has been better than the team expected. Moreover, both Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg have delivered great results for the team in the 2023 F1 season. Though it is not a drastic step forward, it is a step in the right direction. In an interview with WBTV, Komatsu said:
“I think, considering this is the second season after really just concentrating on survival, we are doing well. I think the good thing is that baseline car performance is pretty good."
"That’s actually even slightly better than we anticipated, so that’s positive, but what’s lacking is the consistency across tracks and also race pace. That’s what we’re working on, but I think we’re working across departments better, so it’s very positive."
Haas F1 team is currently in seventh position with eight points, ahead of Alfa Romeo, AlphaTauri, and Williams.