Sebastian Vettel’s pain in the British Grand Prix was Mick Schumacher’s gain in the first half of the race as the Haas rookie sought to learn from his mentor while running behind the Aston Martin driver.
A wheel-to-wheel battle for sixth position between Vettel and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso on the opening lap after the race’s restart ended with a spin for the four-time world champion at Luffield.
It was a costly mishap for Vettel who was engulfed by the field and forced to chase from behind. The Aston Martin driver quickly overtook Nikita Mazepin to find himself behind Schumacher.
The Haas charger was overhauled by Vettel in short order, but then enjoyed his front row seat to his countryman’s race, and he took notes.
“Obviously unfortunately I saw that his race didn’t go as planned either, that’s very unfortunate,” Schumacher said. “
“Therefore I didn’t challenge him in any way because I knew he was going to go faster. So I was rather trying to learn from him than impede him.”
While Vettel retired on lap 40 due to an overheating problem, Schumacher pressed on. But the 22-year-old was overtaken by Mazepin as the race reached its halfway point, and the Russian beat his teammate to the checkered flag for the second time this season.
But after the race, Schumacher reckoned he had perhaps been too cautious with his tyre management on his second stint.
“It was not easy,” admitted Schumacher. “I think we were unfortunately struggling a bit with tyres and the approach that we had.
“We’ll probably have to learn from it and try to come back stronger in Budapest again.
“We as a team were trying to not overheat the tyres in the first few laps, and it seems like Nikita was pushing a bit harder in the first few laps and still managed to keep his tyres in the window.
“So that’s something I will have to analyse why and how, because there was a lot of margin for me to go faster.”
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