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Schumacher: Working with Magnussen more 'comfortable' than with Mazepin

Mick Schumacher has opened up on what it's like to work alongside Kevin Magnussen, admitting to a more "comfortable" relationship than with previous teammate Nikita Mazepin.

Mick Schumacher has elaborated on his burgeoning working relationship with Kevin Magnussen, having had a last-minute change of teammate ahead of the 2022 season. Schumacher, entering his sophomore season, was due to race alongside Nikita Mazepin this year, in what would have been a second year together after a tense campaign as teammates in 2021. But Mazepin was removed from his seat as Haas dropped him and title sponsor Uralkali in the wake of Russia beginning military action in Ukraine, with Mazepin and his oligarch father Dmitry both quickly dismissed by the American-led squad. Haas called upon former driver Magnussen to replace Mazepin, with the popular Dane returning from a year racing in sportscars to take up a multi-year deal upon his return to his former cockpit. It's meant a very quick change of dynamic at Haas, with Schumacher suddenly going from a defacto team leadership role to that of student alongside the experienced Magnussen, who had several years of an existing relationship with the team.

How Schumacher is learning from Magnussen

"He's been in motorsport for a very long time, a lot more years than what I have," Schumacher told media, including RacingNews365.com , when asked about what it's like working with Magnussen. "Obviously, yes, he does bring a lot to the team and it's great to have him on board and to be able to learn from." Schumacher discussed the areas in which he feels he's learning from Magnussen, explaining that the versatile background his new teammate boasts gives him a lot of insight into how to go about a Grand Prix weekend in a more efficient manner. "It's just general expertise. He's driven Formula 1 for a few years, he's been able to drive different cars and different generations of cars and, to be able to come in and feel the new car right away, I think it's a great bonus," Schumacher said. "Driving style is maybe not the right approach to take, in terms of saying that I learned from that, but I think just the whole general construction of how to build up a weekend, what he's feeling and how he's feeling things, and comparing it to how I feel. "That's basically where we both progress from each other and learn from each other. So, at the end, we're sharing every [bit of] information, and it is a very open discussion on how we approach some corners and how we feel some ways of how the car behaves, and then [we] just put those together and try to improve the car from there. "Sometimes I go quicker, sometimes Kevin goes quicker. Then it's just like a build up and you arrive to qualifying knowing that you've maximised, on both sides of the garage, what you have."

Schumacher "more comfortable" alongside Magnussen

With Schumacher and Mazepin's uneasy relationship continuing on into F1 after having been rivals in Formula 2, their partnership occasionally threatened to boil over into outright acrimony. The nadir of their relationship was arguably the Dutch Grand Prix, where Mazepin appeared to try to force Schumacher into the concrete pit wall at high speed as the German attempted an overtaking move. The move resulted in a broken front wing for Schumacher, with Mazepin's actions seemingly in response to his anger at feeling as though his teammate had blocked him in qualifying. With the Magnussen/Schumacher dynamic proving much more harmonious, Schumacher explained that it's an enjoyable atmosphere to be in. "I have to say I feel more comfortable this year in the construction of how it is and how we have a working relationship. I think it is pretty great," he said. "You have to recentre and realign your expectations. Last year, the expectations were to be, hopefully, in P16. This year, we can actually be in P5 if everything goes right." As for whether Schumacher has heard from his former teammate since his removal from the second race seat? "No, I haven't," Schumacher said. Asked by RacingNews365.com if contact is likely, he quickly replied: "No, I don't think so."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying