(GMM) Struggling F1 outfit Haas is keeping the team united and hopes high for 2022 amid a particularly difficult championship campaign.
First, just as Haas confirmed that both drivers are staying put next year, the continual skirmish between Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher now seems to be easing.
Russian Mazepin, for one, has invited Schumacher to Moscow for a fun few days.
“I’m just angry he didn’t invite me,” laughed team boss Gunther Steiner at Sochi.
“No, I think it’s a nice gesture and I know he has some big boy toys there.
“I never said they shouldn’t be friends, I just always said they don’t have to be friends. But if they are, then of course I have no problem with it.”
Schumacher also played down the Mazepin spat on Thursday, insisting: “Your teammate is generally always your main rival.
“Until now I haven’t met a single teammate that is easy to fight against. I always try to do my best.”
The next bit of good news for Haas is that re-signing Schumacher definitely keeps the ever-strengthening relationship with Ferrari alive.
Team owner Gene Haas recently paid his first visit to the new Haas facility on the grounds of Ferrari’s Maranello headquarters.
“I’ve always said that I didn’t see any problems with Mick, but as long as nothing was signed, I couldn’t go public and announce anything,” Steiner said.
“Mick has a long-term agreement with Ferrari, I don’t know the details, but there were still a few things to clarify. But I always knew that it was going in the right direction.
“We are three parties and it is a decision that we made together,” he added, referring to Haas, Schumacher and Ferrari.
As for owner Gene Haas’ recent Maranello visit, Steiner said that went smoothly.
“We visited the base before Monza and showed him what had been done in a fairly short time,” he said.
“Last year we actually stopped many types of work, but now everything has resumed with renewed vigor and considerable progress has been achieved.”