Mick Schumacher has called for Haas to review the events of the Japanese Grand Prix after losing out on what looked to be a good opportunity to score points. The German made a strong start from 15th on the grid to surge up to 10th place, but the race was soon red-flagged due to the wet conditions. Two hours later, the event resumed for a shortened 28-lap encounter, and Schumacher found himself briefly in the lead when many in the field pitted to swap the full Wet tyre for Intermediates. Haas opted to keep Schumacher out, but this gamble failed to pay off and the 23-year-old had slipped backwards by the time he made a pit-stop. Schumacher eventually finished the afternoon in last place, though was promoted by one position to 17th following a post-race time penalty for Pierre Gasly.
Schumacher reflects on missed opportunity
Looking back on the race, Schumacher admitted that the timing of the switch to Intermediate tyres ultimately cost him a points finish at Suzuka. "I know that our car's very strong, especially on the Inter," Schumacher told media. "Unfortunately, we put on the Inter a bit too late, so we'll have to review that and see how in future we can assess this maybe a bit better and take the right choices, so that we are still in the points." The fact that he briefly was able to hold the P1 spot was something that Schumacher took as a positive from the race. "I think that, at the end, we are always smarter, right?" Schumacher said of the hindsight in seeing that the team's tyre call did not work out. "The fact that we were running P3 at some point, and even I think did our first leading metres in P1, this is something positive. "But, on the other hand, points were up for grabs. and unfortunately we didn't manage to get them, but definitely the speed is there."
How driving in "very bad" conditions felt
When asked how it felt to drive in the wet at the initial start of the race, Schumacher admitted that the conditions were "very bad". "Have you ever driven on a road blindfolded? You don't want to do that, right? That's what we did," the Haas driver explained. Reflecting further on why the team chose to stay out on the Wet tyre after the event had resumed, Schumacher acknowledged that the lack of performance from that compound in comparison to the Intermediate cost him greatly. "Obviously, we know that the extreme Wets don't perform quite as good as the Inters," he said. "We were hoping for a Safety Car, but it didn't end up coming out, and so therefore we lost the chance of scoring points. "We did have something to lose, we were in a points-paying position, so yeah, it's very unfortunate. "I don't know if you can say that we didn't react quick enough, because we did react to it as we saw people pitting." Schumacher's teammate Kevin Magnussen also missed out on scoring points, finishing the race in P14.