Steiner denies allegations
Haas team boss: “Didn’t bully Mick Schumacher!”
03/02/2023 12:21 p.m
The relationship between Mick Schumacher and Haas team boss Günther Steiner is not exactly ideal for working together. This then ends and the racing driver is replaced by his compatriot Nico Hülkenberg. Steiner believes that he is capable of a podium – at the same time he defends himself against violent allegations.
Haas team boss Günther Steiner and his ex-pilot Mick Schumacher did not always completely agree. It didn’t take the Netflix series Drive To Survive to see that, last season was testimony enough. In the documentary, however, it becomes particularly clear. Steiner has been one of the main characters there for years, and his dealings with Schumacher often appear harsh. However, the team boss clearly denies the bullying allegations that parts of the Schumacher camp made against Steiner and team owner Gene Haas based on depictions in the series.
“It’s not bullying, we don’t need to do bullying, because in the end he’s our driver,” Steiner said in an interview with RTL / ntv. The 57-year-old South Tyrolean has “understanding for the Schumacher fans”, as he emphasized: “In the heat of the moment something is sometimes said that you don’t say an hour later. But bullying? Absolutely not.”
According to his own statement, Steiner can live well with criticism of himself. “When you take the conversations out after a frustrating race or a big crash, you have to try to understand me too,” he said, adding: “I think the way we did it was as correct as possible in such a difficult one Sports.”
Steiner believes Schumacher can make a comeback
By the way, Steiner could not say whether the portrayal of his person in the documentary corresponds to reality or is exaggerated. “I didn’t see it. But our people looked at it and checked it. That’s why you can probably say: It may have been prepared for TV, but the basis is certainly correct. Nothing was out of the ordinary.”
After the difficult past season, Haas replaced Schumacher with Nico Hulkenberg. Schumacher, who was responsible for several accidents in his second year at Haas, but who was repeatedly thrown back by the team’s tactical mistakes, has now found a job with Mercedes as a replacement driver.
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Steiner believes he can make a comeback. “He has put himself in a very good position at Mercedes as a reserve driver. If you’re not there, you’ll be forgotten very quickly. He’s there,” explained Steiner: “Mercedes is an engine supplier for several customer teams. If something happens and he If he’s in the right place at the right time, he can show what he’s capable of.”
Steiner expects podium place
Of course, the team boss is primarily convinced of his new driver at the moment. “It’s not about if the first podium comes, but rather when it comes.” For Steiner, placing in the top three would only be the logical consequence of consistent work by both the racing team and Hülkenberg: “We are here to be successful. If you work hard, you can implement it. The next thing is the podium. ” Hülkenberg, who was never able to get on the podium in 181 Formula 1 starts, would treat the South Tyrolean particularly well. “Together with Nico it would be even cooler because he doesn’t have one yet.”
Steiner was particularly impressed by Hülkenberg’s sincere manner. “I didn’t know him very well, but well enough to say: he’s honest and he doesn’t tell me things I want to hear. He tells me things as they are. That’s always what I expect from people.” , the team boss exclaimed: “As a guy, he’s also very self-confident. That’s good for us. That was one of the reasons why we got him.” Steiner also wants to keep his direct manner for the driver pairing Kevin Magnussen and Hülkenberg. “When the two guys hit each other’s cars, they’re treated the same as each other. What’s different? I haven’t changed my style for me.”