JULY 12, 2022

Steiner won't be pressured over Schumacher talks

Gunther Steiner insists he will not be pressured to talk about Mick Schumacher's future at Haas.

Gunther Steiner, Austrian GP 2022
© Haas F1 Team / LAT

Gunther Steiner insists he will not be pressured to talk about Mick Schumacher's future at Haas.

The boss of the small American team triggered speculation about Schumacher's future as he struggled with both performance and crashes earlier in 2022.

But he was voted 'driver of the day' in Austria after two consecutive points finishes - his first in Formula 1.

"I don't know if there was a certain moment when he broke through - sometimes you just have to get used to the car and the pressure," Steiner told f1-insider.com.

"But I already noticed in Canada that Mick seemed much more relaxed. Maybe he wanted to force it before and now the puzzle pieces just fall into place, but either way, Mick is on a roll at the moment."

He denies, however, that he put undue pressure on the 23-year-old with his public statements.

"Internally, there was no great pressure, although externally, some people tried to find drama. But pressure is normal," Steiner insisted.

"Accidents are part of the journey and so is criticism. This is Formula 1.

"You have to learn to deal with all these background noises and now Mick has done that."

The young German is now hoping that his points finishes at Silverstone and Austria could lead onto even better results in France and then - finally with an updated car - even a podium in Hungary.

"In theory it should be like this," Schumacher laughed when asked by Bild newspaper. "Budapest would definitely be a nice spot for some champagne."

As for the future, however, Steiner insists he will not be drawn.

"We never talk about contract extensions at Haas before the summer break," he said.

"Some people can't wait for discussions to start, but we do it according to our schedule, not because people are asking for it."

For Haas, the Schumacher deal is problematic - and not just because it is so closely tied to the team's technical partnership with Ferrari.

"His last name has a long history in Formula 1," said Steiner. "But that can also become a liability if it doesn't work.

"At the moment, it works. And now we have to stabilise that," he added. "I think Mick has even more potential and it's part of the game that things sometimes get uncomfortable when you want to uncover that.

"But what kind of team boss would I be if I didn't push my driver?"