Guenther Steiner admits that Mick Schumacher's experience with Haas is a key factor going in his favour as the team consider who will drive alongside Kevin Magnussen in 2023. Schumacher is thought to be facing competition for his seat from the likes of the more experienced Nico Hulkenberg. However, the fact that the youngster has now completed nearly two full seasons with the squad is an advantage for him, according to Steiner. "Absolutely. If you're working with somebody for two years, that is an advantage," the team boss told media at the Japanese Grand Prix. "The incumbent has always got an advantage – it's the home advantage."
How experience has benefitted Haas
Steiner has seen firsthand how experience of the team has proved helpful in 2022 for Magnussen, who made a surprise return to the outfit just weeks before the season began to replace the ousted Nikita Mazepin. Magnussen previously raced for Haas between 2017 and 2020. "That [experience is] why we brought Kevin back as well, because he was here [before]," Steiner explained. "Obviously he was out a year, but he knew everybody, and that's always an advantage when you start from somewhere."
Steiner reflects on Schumacher's development
Schumacher had a difficult start to the 2022 season, during which he failed to match Magnussen's points-scoring performances as well as racking up a series of costly crashes. The 23-year-old looked to have turned things around at the British Grand Prix, where he scored his debut F1 points by finishing P8, before going on to clinch P6 at the following weekend in Austria. When asked if he has been happy with Schumacher's development since those incidents earlier in the campaign, Steiner – speaking before Schumacher's FP1 crash at the Japanese Grand Prix – commented: "On that side, yeah. "I can't say no, because he didn't do any damage to the car [so often] and he scored points. How should I say no to that?" In terms of Schumacher's understanding of the car, Steiner believes that the points he earned show that this has improved. "When you score points, that comes with it," he stated. "Because if you're not understanding it [or] developing as a driver, you don't score points, because he didn't score points by luck. It was performance, I always said that."