MONACO (Reuters) – Mick Schumacher is close to his first points in Formula One but the young German must avoid falling into the trap of desperation and over-driving, Haas team boss Guenther Steiner said on Thursday.
The 23-year-old went through his rookie season in 2021 without scoring in a car that the U.S.-owned team stopped developing early on to turn their focus on 2022 and major rule changes.
Sunday’s showcase Monaco Grand Prix could bring the breakthrough, if Schumacher keeps the car out of trouble.
The German, whose seven-times world champion father won five times in Monaco, has yet to break his blank in six races this season while team mate Kevin Magnussen has scored 15 points.
In Barcelona last weekend Schumacher qualified in the top 10 and was sixth on the opening lap before finishing 14th.
In the Bahrain season-opener he finished 11th and he crashed in Saudi Arabian GP qualifying and did not start the race.
“What I’m more worried about is desperation setting in and him over-driving. That could happen,” said Steiner, wary of a situation similar to that of Mexican Esteban Gutierrez who drove for Haas in 2016.
Gutierrez failed to score a point that season, finishing 11th five times. The previous season he drew a blank for Sauber.
“He knows he is very close. He just needs to be patient,” said Steiner of Schumacher.
“Last week was a good week and the week before was a good week and it (a top 10 finish) never happened. At some stage, it will happen because the car is good enough.”
Ferrari-powered Haas finished last overall in 2021 without a point but are currently eighth and ahead of Aston Martin and Williams.
Magnussen has plenty of experience in Formula One, and drove for Haas before being dropped to make way for Schumacher and now-departed Russian Nikita Mazepin.
“We need to make points, and we need to make points with two drivers as well,” said Steiner.
“Hopefully, it will happen sooner rather than later.”
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond)