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Schumacher on Haas' revival: We knew what we had with this car

After a 2021 season largely spent propping up the timesheets, Haas threw everything at F1's new regulations for 2022. Early signs suggest this move has paid off, with Kevin Magnussen qualifying seventh and Mick Schumacher lining up 12th for the Bahrain GP.

Mick Schumacher says he had the potential to make it into the top 10 during qualifying for theBahrain Grand Prix, with the Haas driver lining up 12th on the grid following asmall mistake on his last flying lap. Saturday's qualifying session in Sakhir marked a huge step forward for theteam, with returnee Kevin Magnussen making it through to Q3, in which he postedthe seventh-fastest time. Speaking after the session, Schumacher reckons he could easily have joinedhis new teammate in the pole position shootout. "I guess I tried a bit too much," Schumacher told media, including RacingNews365.com . "[I made] a mix-up at Turn 11, which was unfortunate. I wasn't sure ifit was enough for Q3, but we definitely had the car to do that, so it's a bitgutting." Despite his disappointment, 12th still represents Schumacher's highest-everstarting position, after his Haas team spent last season largely confined tothe back row of the grid.

Haas bounce back with a new car and new line-up

F1's rules reset for 2022 has coincided with a return to form for theAmerican-led outfit, and though Haas's pace at Bahrain has surprised manyobservers, Schumacher insisted that the team were always confident of theVF-22's potential. "We knew what this package has," he commented, looking back on pre-season testing. "We just didn't know how much the others were holding back, andseemingly we had a good [analysis] of things, and we knew that we had thepotential to be in Q3." Schumacher also paid tribute to new teammate Magnussen, following hisstandout qualifying performance. The Dane, who previously drove for Haas between 2017 and 2020, returned tothe team and to F1 when Nikita Mazepin was dropped last month, and Schumachersaid Magnussen's experience will be useful as Haas look to continue toprogress. "He's been in F1 for some time, and he's driven different cars,"added Schumacher. "He has a broad amount of experience which he can bring to the team andshare detailed information."

Schumacher sees a huge improvement over last year's car

Speaking exclusively to RacingNews365.com earlier in theweek, Schumacher elaborated on the step forward that Haas had made withtheir new car, and set his sights on scoring points. "Looking back to last year, we probably wouldn't have been anywhere closeto [this level of performance], so it is definitely a step in the rightdirection," said Schumacher. "Last year, we had to be so on it every time, and [be] so perfect. "Hopefully, this year, that doesn't need to be always the case – [if] youcan get away with half [a perfect lap] and still get into Q2, that would beamazing. "Every part [of the car is better]. The car was quite difficult todrive last year, and it just comes easy now. So it's a very, very positive partof it."

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