The “pressure” of matching up with Kevin Magnussen triggered Mick Schumacher’s high speed crash and hospitalisation in qualifying for the Saudi Arabian GP.
The 23-year-old admitted he simply made a mistake that ultimately cost him his place on the Jeddah grid, just a week after being similarly humbled by eleventh-hour new teammate Magnussen at the 2022 season opener.
“He has to work very hard to get to Magnussen’s level,” former F1 team boss Colin Kolles told Sport1.
“Kevin came back after two years without driving in Formula 1 and was immediately better. And he won’t get worse either – he’ll get better.”
Former driver Christian Danner agrees, admitting he thinks Schumacher’s crash was “a result of the pressure that was building up”.
“In Kevin Magnussen, he now has a teammate who really shows him how high the bar is. The great thing is that he accepts the challenge,” he said.
However, Danner admits that a big crash resulting in hospitalisation is an “incredibly” big setback for a young driver.
“But it will now be even more interesting to see how Mick tackles the challenge of how to beat his teammate. He has to work his way up there slowly because Magnussen is doing such a good job,” he said.
Mick’s uncle Ralf Schumacher, whose brother Michael is the Haas driver’s father, agrees that the youngster needs to “learn from Magnussen how to push the limit even further”.
“What is clear is that Magnussen is a different challenge than Mazepin. But he is only in his second year in Formula 1, so he is still learning so much,” he told Sky Deutschland.
Ralf disagrees with Danner, however, that the Jeddah crash will be a significant setback for his nephew.
“It looked very dramatic of course,” Schumacher said, “but every racing driver puts accidents like that behind them very quickly.
“It is also obvious that he is so super fit that it wasn’t bad for him. It’s more like hurt pride because he was on a fast lap and made a mistake.”
The problem, of course, is that by missing Sunday’s race, Schumacher is now a full grand prix distance behind Magnussen and the rest of the F1 field.
“It was an error with very strong consequences, very annoying consequences, but the most important thing of course is that nothing happened to him,” uncle Ralf insisted.