Haas Formula 1 team boss Guenther Steiner has labelled Mick Schumacher’s costly crash in opening practice at the Japanese Grand Prix “self-inflicted”.
Schumacher crashed on his in-lap back to the pits at the end of FP1 and was forced to sit out second practice while his team changed his VF-22 chassis.
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The timing of the crash isn’t good for Schumacher as he faces a fight to remain in F1 next year.
It’s believed Haas will choose between Schumacher and Aston Martin’s reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg to be Kevin Magnussen’s team-mate next year.
Schumacher is believed to have pointed to the spray from Carlos Sainz in front as one detrimental factor in the difficult conditions that his crash took place in.
“It was quite wet and unfortunately, we had an aquaplaning moment which ended up in us losing the rear,” said Schumacher.
“We’ve lost time and we’ve got to do a big job tomorrow, but the track is great, the car felt great today so hopefully we’re in a good position.
“Tomorrow should be dry so we’ll see what we can do from there.”
Team boss Steiner accepted the wet conditions in FP1 weren’t easy but pointed out that the drivers knew what to expect from the conditions.
“The spray you can see, there was water before. I’m not out there driving telling you how difficult it is, but this job is not easy,” Steiner said.
“In the end, it was self-inflicted. Yeah, there was spray, there was water, but you know that.”
When asked if Steiner would issue his driver with a telling off, he replied: “No. Sometimes less is more. I did not speak with him.”
Schumacher’s team-mate Magnussen was fifth fastest in FP2 but Steiner said it was important to not “jump to any conclusions today”.
The extra 30 minutes in FP2, allocated for testing of Pirelli’s prototype slick tyres that was not possible in the conditions, allowed the team to complete a set-up experiment on Magnussen’s car.