Mick Schumacher believes Haas can realistically regard Q2 as a target in Formula 1 this year in spite of the squad’s backmarker plight.
Haas has spent the majority of the nascent 2021 season at the rear of the field and has already placed the bulk of its resources on next year’s regulatory reset.
Haas’ most recent Q2 appearance came at last October’s Eifel Grand Prix, with Kevin Magnussen, Romain Grosjean and substitute Pietro Fittipaldi thereafter unable to make it past Q1.
Schumacher has out-qualified fellow rookie team-mate Nikita Mazepin at all four grands prix this season and in Spain beat a rival team for the first time in Q1 as he bested Williams’ Nicholas Latifi.
“It is totally realistic,” Schumacher said on aiming for Q2. “I’d be unhappy if it wasn’t the case this year, we’re still pushing hard for it.
“Obviously there may be tracks that come more our way, but I think considering Barcelona was not one of our strongest we managed to produce a very good lap time.
“We were close to Kimi [Raikkonen] and I think we can be very happy and hope for a Q2 at [one of] the next 18 or whatever races, so hopefully we’ll manage [it].”
Schumacher added that he is relishing the opportunity to tackle Monaco in Formula 1 machinery for the first time this week.
He previously raced at the venue during his rookie Formula 2 season in 2019.
“It’s definitely a driver’s circuit – the driver can make the difference there,” he said.
“Obviously, if you have a car that you trust, one that you feel comfortable in, most likely that will help you go into Monaco, and into FP1, with somewhat more of an open mind to learn the track.
“If you also have to learn the car, or if you’re not comfortable in the car, that definitely makes it a lot more difficult.
“I’m super comfortable in the car and I’m excited to learn how to drive around Monaco in the VF-21.”