Schumacher lost control of his Haas F1 car coming through the Swimming Pool chicane after switching to dry tires in the Monaco Grand Prix, sending him into a spin.
After hitting the Armco on the right-hand side of the track, Schumacher’s car slammed into the Tecpro barrier on the exit of the corner. The rear-end of his Haas F1 car broke away from the rest of the chassis, including the suspension and the gearbox, but Schumacher himself quickly reported that he was OK.
Schumacher got out of the car unaided and was taken to the medical center as a precaution before quickly being cleared and released. He later explained that the accident felt “super weird”.
Race director Eduardo Freitas initially called for a Virtual Safety Car before upgrading to a full safety car. The race was subsequently red-flagged to allow for the barriers to be repaired.
A number of drivers expressed their shock upon seeing the crash site after the race. AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly said it looked “bad” and that he was worried for Schumacher, making it the right decision to throw a red flag.
“When I saw the gearbox completely out, it was quite shocking,” Gasly said. “For the red flag, they took some time, but it was the right thing to do. I was a bit surprised we had VSC and not a safety car straight away. But I need to review the race, it was quite long, quite a lot happened.”
Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-22 crash
Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
Alpine’s Fernando Alonso called the crash “massive” and said he hoped F1 could “learn something from today”, noting how the increased weight of the cars has an impact on accidents.
“I don’t think it’s a car issue, it’s just how hard you hit,” Alonso said.
“With these cars, they are very heavy, more than 800kg, so the inertia you go into the wall is a lot higher than in the past. As I said, probably we learned something from today as well.”
Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel has been a mentor for Schumacher through much of the young German’s career, having benefitted himself from advice given by Schumacher’s father, Michael.
Vettel said he was “happy to hear on the radio that he was fine before I got to the incident”, and called for Schumacher to be cut some slack.
“It’s so easy to get it wrong so quickly,” Vettel said. “I don’t know exactly what happened to him, I haven’t seen it. The main thing is he is OK
“There is no doubt that he is capable of doing a lot more than what he is showing at the minute. But I think you guys need to give him a bit of a break.”