Steiner: Schumacher? Where do I start? [Then you can’t shut him up]


A sure sign of the crazy Netflix-times in which Formula 1 is ensconced, is the fact that potty-mouthed Guenther Steiner is the sport’s equivalent of Brad Pitt [without the looks] despite the fact that he all but utterly ruined Mick Schumacher’s career, and continues to do so thanks to an opportunist book authored by the Haas team boss.

Steiner’s grievances regarding the son of the great Michael Schumacher are well documented, boiling down to the fact that Mick cost the underfinanced team around $2-million dollars in damages last year. The team boss neglected to mention his own inexperience and lack of knowledge in developing young drivers.

But Steiner is F1’s unexpected superstar of Drive to Survive series, and of course, in true F1 style he milked it ruthlessly with a spin-off book ‘Surviving to Drive’ in which he details his own 2022 season memoirs, and of course lashes into Schumacher unrelentlessly.

Steiner wrote: “Now we get on to Mick. Jeezoz, where do I start?” before unleashing: “The first time a driver writes off a car in a season due to human error, you have to forget about it. It’s just one of those things and at the end of the day, sh!t happens sometimes.

“The second time it happens you think: hang on, something’s not right here. The cost and the effect it has on our chances of scoring points is one thing but what about the dangers to the driver and other people? Nobody ever mentions that.

“I know I could go on about it but we have a good car this season and I’ve run out of excuses for things like this. ‘He crashed again Guenther?’ the board will say, what’s the point of having a good car when you don’t score any points and keep wrecking them? What can I say to that? Nothing.

“Having a good car quickly turned into a double-edged sword for me and one of the main reasons for this is that we keep on f@cking wrecking them, or should I say one driver does, the driver who hasn’t scored any points,” explained Steiner.

The reality is, desperate to fund Gene Haas’ wilting F1 dream, Steiner decided to hire two rookie pay drivers for the 2021 season, Nikita Mazepin and Mick; their debut seasons’ filled with well-told woe and bent metal, as Haas were underfunded and grossly unequipped to develop young drivers.

What were Ferrari thinking? Michael would never agree to Mick driving for Haas led by Steiner

All exacerbated by a woeful undeveloped car which had hardly any updates and was the beast that Romain Grosjean nearly killed himself in Bahrain, and the one Kevin Magnussen described as the worst car he had ever driven.

Both F1 veterans were out of the team in 2021 to make way for the rookies. Mazepin’s deal was understandable as it was the only into F1 for the Russian pay driver. However, Ferrari’s role in the deal is sinful, as they funded Mick’s road to the top flight.

With Kimi Raikkonen at Alfa Romeo, alongside underperforming and never-impressive, Antonio Giovinazzi who Ferrari also funded with extreme patience they had solid options for Mick with the Swiss team. But instead of ending the Italian’s failed F1 experiment there and then, to make way for Mick at a team known to develop rookie drivers under none other than Fred Vasseur.

A last chance with Haas for Giovinazzi would’ve made good sense at the time, because at Alfa he could hardly match a well-over-the-hill Kimi and, in retrospect, Haas may have been a better bet for him. Whatever the case, Neither Gio nor Mick are on the F1 grid.

Bizarrely, Ferrari flung their money at the almost broke, and certainly desperate Haas team, when Steiner came begging. The moment they inked that contract, Mick’s fate was sealed, and we knew it and screamed it out at the time. Insisting that Michael Schumacher would have never countenanced his son racing for Steiner’s Haas team.

Now, two years too late, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff – who gave Mick a lifeline with a reserve deal this season – echoed our sentiments: Michael would have not stood by if he had a say at all in his boy’s career.

Fortunately, within the Mercedes family, Schumacher could get a second crack at F1, and while many believe he is not fit for the top flight, one could argue that he was not afforded a proper crack, without Steiner, in a calm, well-funded team, the kind of start an F3 and F2 champion deserves when he steps up to the Big League.

It would be a great leap for his career, and shut Steiner’s big mouth for a change.