Haas driver Mick Schumacher has declared his ambition to escape from the first phase of qualifying at least once in his rookie Formula 1 campaign.
Team principal Guenther Steiner indicated after the Bahrain Grand Prix that the team were “realistic” and ‘would not put any effort’ into achieving more than battling with Williams as Haas turns its attention to 2022.
Although Schumacher spun early on in the season-opener, the German put in an otherwise solid performance on his debut and has set his sights on mixing it with the midfield runners in future qualifying sessions.
When asked if he believed he could battle other teams this year, Schumacher replied: “I am positive in that sense, yes.
“Obviously, we will be working on ourselves, I will be working on myself a lot so I see the motivation in the team and I see no reason why we shouldn’t be optimistic about throughout the season to be able to, hopefully at some point, go into Q2.”
Schumacher, who previously claimed a Q2 appearance would be “like a victory” for Haas, has more often than not raced towards the front of the order.
Despite now finding himself at the back of a grid, the German insists he has not needed to change his approach and mentality.
“My mindset is the same,” he explained. “I have a mindset which is I want to do my best and obviously, what we have is what we have and we can only try to improve it. That is the same mentality that the top teams have as well.
“They are looking for those tenths, those little percentages to make themselves faster and we do that too so in myself as a driver and us together as a team.”