Brawn: Schumacher deserves the next step in his F1 career

CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD, FRANCE - JULY 22: Mick Schumacher, Haas F1 Team during the French GP at Circuit Paul Ricard on Friday July 22, 2022 in Le Castellet, France. (Photo by Alastair Staley / LAT Images)

Ross Brawn has come out in support of Mick Schumacher who may not have a drive for 2023, the Formula 1 motorsport chief believes the German – son of legend Michael Schumacher – deserves to be in the top flight.

Schumacher is waiting on Ferrari to decide whether they want to keep him on their programme or not, with a decision still to be made on the matter according to team boss Mattia Binotto.

Haas don’t seem to be too keen on retaining his services if not by order of Ferrari and the engine discount that comes with it. And Ferrari themselves have the Antonio Giovinazzi camp lobbying hard for the Italian to return… with the American alongside Kevin Magnussen.

Guenther Steiner suggested the chances of Schumacher retaining the seat is 50/50 with six races remaining for him to make a case to say with the team. The team principal not shy to criticise his driver through the media and is hardly the mentor a youngster needs.

Nevertheless, Brawn told Sport1, in a recent interview, that 23-year-old Schumacher deserves a third year in F1: “Mick has improved enormously this year. He has a really good reference in Kevin Magnussen as a teammate and he is now at an important crossroads in his career.

“In any case, he deserves to take the next step in his career and then he should be measured by that,” added Brawn with reference to a third season on the grid.

The Englishman, of course, was part of Michael’s glory years at Maranello, Brawn a close associate from the early Benetton days when Schumi broke onto the scene and changed the course of F1 history.

Mick won Formula 3 and Formula 2 titles on second attempts

mick_schumacher_f3_-_win_race_2 ross brawn

Asked to compare father and son as drivers, Brawn said that Mick is “different from his father, who was always immediately at the limit. “Mick needs a little longer, but in the end, he also won the titles in the junior classes. He is very talented, has 100% inherited his father’s work ethic and is extremely capable of improvement. That’s crucial.”

Brawn is backed by stats that show young Schumacher won the 2018 Formula 3 and the 2020 Formula 2 championship; in both series it took him a season top get up to speed and by the end of the second year, in each class, he ruled the roost.

In a Haas, Mick will not rule the F1 roost (and might never in his lifetime) but it can be argued that he is getting better as Brawn points out and if history repeats itself as it has, he will get stronger in these final six races.

But has he done enough to convince and salvage his career which was doomed from the day Ferrari and his minders decided Haas team with fellow rookie Nikita Mazepin was a smart move. It was not.

Smart would have been sending Antonio Giovinazzi to Haas for a final chance to prove himself because at Alfa Romeo he was hopeless. That would have meant the Italian would have stacked up against Mazepin which would have made sense on all levels.

Schumacher’s career got off to a bad start before it even got going

mazepin schumacher haas 2022

While Schumi III could have been sent to Alfa Romeo (aka Sauber) alongside Kimi Raikkonen and the care of well-known driver developer Frederic Vasseur. From there the son of a legend would have been far better off.

This option was ignored, at the time, despite numerous posts on here warning that Mick-to-Guenther Steiner’s den would be perilous. And it was, still is and will always be as the young driver tries to salvage a career almost in tatters because of two years with the team, the first of which produced nothing and stained his possible rise.

Six important races lie ahead for him to prove he does get better towards the end of his second season in a series, thus make a case to stay in F1 and prove he belongs, as Ross does.

Finally, comparing Mick and Max Verstappen, whose father Jos Verstappen was also an F1 driver and widely admired in Holland during his time, Brawn said: “Max’s big advantage over Mick is that his father was also a hero in the Netherlands, but he didn’t win, wasn’t F1 world champion seven times and isn’t an icon like Michael in Germany.”

Should Schumacher be shown the door at Haas, apart from Giovinazzi, Nico Hulkenberg was mentioned in the Monza paddock and of course Daniel Ricciardo is a ‘free agent’ since he got the McLaren boot.