Schumacher vs Magnussen - Teammate Tale of the Tape - Haas F1
An unexpected new driver lineup has appeared for 2022 and it's sure to make things at Haas much more interesting...
The 4th and final installment of the 2022 Teammate Tale of the Tape series is an unexpected one that no one could have predicted. Due to Formula1's ever growing political agenda and aspirations, Haas' title sponsor was dropped just days after winter testing began and Nikita Mazepin was dishonorably booted out of the sport all together. Although Mazepin is a controversial figure, it was a shame in which his departure was handled and he deserved another season in the sport to prove his worth. This left the American team scrambling to find a new driver in less than 3 weeks until the new season began but Haas didn't have to look far to complete their 2022 lineup. F1 veteran Kevin Magnussen has made a shocking return to the sport a little over 16 months after completing what he then thought was his last race in the sport. It now leaves us with an exciting lineup of Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen so we're here to break down this new teammate lineup and what this means for Haas in 2022.
Teammate Tale of the Tape - Schumacher vs Magnussen
With all due respect to Nikita Mazepin's talents as a driver, Haas' driver lineup strength received a significant boost with the signing of the 6 year F1 veteran. Mick Schumacher will now have a very talented and experienced teammate to go up against and it will be a great test for the young German to see how he stacks up against one of the better skilled drivers in F1. So let's look at the tale of the tape numbers between the two and how they stack up against each other.
Despite many years of F1 experience, Magnussen is still only 29 years of age and only 7 years older than his sophomore teammate. The gaps in statistics between the two are evident as Magnussen has competed in 97 more Grand Prix's than Schumacher. K-Mag has managed one career podium way back in 2014 on his F1 debut but since then it's been fighting amongst the mid-field pack with a best championship finish of 9th in 2018. The Dane has a 3-3 record vs his F1 teammates in the past while Schumacher was able to defeat his only F1 teammate last season quite easily. In 22 races last season, Schumacher managed a best finish of 12th and a best qualifying of 14th which was impressive considering the performance of the VF-21. So now that you've seen the tale of the tape between the two drivers, let's look at them individually.
#47 - Mick Schumacher
Mick Schumacher was poised for another season of dominant performances versus his teammate but now the dynamic at the team has changed dramatically. The German will now have an experienced and very quick teammate to measure up to so Schumacher has his work cut of for him in 2022. The 22 year old had a solid rookie season in which he was arguably the rookie of the year. Schumacher managed to reach Q2 twice in 2021 with his average grid start being 17th while finishing races on average in 16th place. Now that he's gotten through the rookie growing pains, it is time to deliver on the hype in 2022. Depending on the capabilities of the Haas VF-22, Schumacher has to continue to impress and that will start with beating the driver in the same car as him. Although competitively it will be a challenge, having the experienced Magnussen alongside him will also be a big help to the young driver. “It’s a benefit for him as well because (he has) an experienced driver looking at data, (he will be) working with somebody who knows this car from driving very similar cars for six years. It’s very good.” With a new teammate, things are looking up at the moment for Haas who despite their troubled pre-season testing, showed signs of decent pace and improvement. Schumacher set the second fastest time of Bahrain testing and his 1:32.241 was actually 2 tenths quicker than his Q1 lap during the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix. The lack of mileage will be a concern heading into the first race but Schumacher was happy with the VF-22 so it sets up a potentially promising and even prosperous year for the young Schumi.
#20 - Kevin Magnussen
It was only a few weeks ago that Kevin Magnussen was on his way to America to prepare for the 12 hours of Sebring World Endurance Championship race which is set to take place this weekend. Instead, the 29 year old is now in Bahrain and days away from his return to Formula 1 competition. It's accurate to use the word shock when describing Magnussen's return to F1 and in particular his return to his old team Haas. K-Mag made it clear that he'd like to be racing for wins and podiums and he was enjoying his new sportscar career with Peugeot. Even Magnussen himself was doubting whether the move back to F1 was the right one, but after his first outing in the VF-22, it's clear that this Formula 1 opportunity was too good to pass up for the Dane. So now that Magnussen is back, can he achieve more than he did in his first stint of F1? As mentioned before, a lot of the drivers results are dependent on whether Haas has built a car strong enough to get back into the upper mid-field. Magnussen is a very quick driver who showcased his raw pace for Haas back in 2018 when he helped them finish 5th in the Constructor's standings. Even in the troublesome 2019 season, Magnussen had plenty of moments of brilliance that reminded everyone of the top caliber driver that he is. And he showed this talent on Day 2 in Bahrain when he set the fastest time of the day during Haas' extra hour of running showing that Magnussen won't need much time to get adjusted to life back in an F1 car. It will be interesting to see how Magnussen works with the young Schumacher and whether the two will get along to push Haas in the right direction. Time will tell but it's safe to say that the whole of the F1 community is happy and excited to see Kevin Magnussen back in Formula 1.
What to Expect from Haas in 2022?
A roller coaster start to 2022 has Haas fans a little nervous ahead of the new season. Problems on and off track meant that their pre-season running wasn't ideal but they have shown a clear improvement in comparison to 2021. We can't read too much into testing lap times but the fact that both drivers were within a few tenths of Haas' 2021 Bahrain qualifying times says a great deal. Last season, Haas hit absolute rock bottom and spent the entire year focusing on 2022. Now is the time for the American team to showcase the fruits of their labor and get back to fighting with F1's superpowers. It wasn't that long ago that Haas was the 5th best team in F1 and they've shown just how good they can be despite their small operation. With a technical reshuffle with Ferrari and a new era in the sport, their is reason to be cautiously optimistic if you're a Haas fan. The best part is that we are only a few days away from finding out just how good this Haas car really is. The driver lineup of Schumacher and Magnussen is now the most interesting lineup on the grid next to Hamilton and Russell. Both drivers will push each other and maybe sometimes even push each other off-track which should make Haas a team to watch in 2022!