Guenther Steiner, team principal of the Haas Formula 1 team, has once again urged caution when it comes to his rookie line-up for the 2021 season.
The Italian will of course be looking out for both of his drivers but is all too aware that Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, will likely need more protection from external pressures.
"The expectation from the media will be extreme because he [Mick] is the son of the record world champion," Steiner told F1-Insider.com. "But you can’t expect Mick to win seven titles too. I’ll protect him when it comes down to it because I am convinced he will succeed. You just have to give him the appropriate time. This also applies to Nikita Mazepin.
"Both have already proven their talent, but both are still very young, you should never forget that. That means you have to admit mistakes and learn from them. This season will be a training year for us all, then in 2022, we want to attack and get into the top-five of the constructors’ championship."
Based in North Carolina, the 55-year-old also discussed the logistical difficulties the ongoing COVID-19 disruptions are causing when it comes to preparing for the new F1 season.
"It doesn’t make sense to fly to the factory in England at the moment because I would have to be in quarantine there for 14 days," Steiner continued. "You can’t plan anything properly. It may be that you fly under certain guidelines and when you land everything is different so I prefer to discuss everything via video conference or on the phone.
"I have the necessary contact with everyone in the team - of course the drivers too - but it may be that I won’t see anyone until the tests in Bahrain."
Not only will Steiner have to wait until the F1 world descends upon the Middle East for pre-season testing to meet up with his team in person, but it will likely be the first time Haas will be able to fit the new Ferrari engine into their 2021 challenger and fire it up.
"To start it we need the Ferrari guys from Maranello and they can’t come to England at the moment," he added. "But that’s not bad. We just have to start the engine during the test in Bahrain. It’s not a big problem."