Mick Schumacher's first taste of the new 2022 Haas F1 car won't come until the opening pre-season test gets underway in Barcelona.
Haas don't have a simulator at their factories which means that, although they started work on their 2022 machine earlier than any other team, it's not possible for Schumacher or teammate Nikita Mazepin to get a feel for it before driving the real thing.
Despite this setback, Schumacher says he can't wait to tackle F1's new era after getting his first year under his belt.
"It will be new and I'm looking forward to it," Schumacher said in an interview with Auto Motor und Sport.
"We don't have our own simulator at the moment. But that should change for next year. I think I will only drive the car for the first time at the Barcelona test."
A whole new world for 2022
With the 2022 cars a marked departure from the 2021 machines in which Schumacher adjusted to life in F1, the goal with the new regulations is to close up the field spread and allow drivers to follow each other more closely.
As Haas made that early switch in car development focus, Schumacher is optimistic of a more competitive year than 2021, when he spent the season propping up the rear of the pack.
"The big question is how much that will bring us. But the other teams don't have dummies working for them either," he said.
"They know where things are going. We have to wait and see. Hopefully, we have something on the car that will give us a small advantage, at least in the beginning."
But despite the rules changes, the German driver is predicting that the usual big teams will still have the advantage as the season goes on.
"The hope is that everyone will be closer together and you can race against each other. Maybe that will be the case at the beginning," he added.
"In the end, the usual teams will pull away again. The question is by how much."
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