Mick Schumacher insists he is happy Ferrari chose Haas for his debut Formula 1 season.
The reigning Formula 2 champion steps up to F1 with the American team in 2021, a team that has finished eighth in the Constructors’ Championship for the past two years and has low expectations for this season.
Even so, Schumacher does hope to be doing more than just pootling around at the back, noting some of the surprises from last year.
“We have to be clear about what the car’s potential is, and we have to be honest with ourselves and do our job,” he told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.
“The best thing would of course be to collect points, and if there should be some crazy races like last year, maybe a podium will come out.
“Sure that’s a dream, but we’re allowed to dream, although first and foremost we have to be realistic,” he added. “I’ll have to wait for the first couple of races to give an informed answer.”
To make the situation worse, Schumacher and Haas have had their preparations for the new season compromised by Covid-19 restrictions, which have prevented travel to the UK.
And despite completing some tests towards the end of last year, building relationships will be the initial priority.
“I want to get used to the team very quickly so that I feel very comfortable and they get along with me,” Mick said. “If we can do that, the results will come.
“Of course, I promise myself a lot from myself and there is always pressure. I make it myself. I have expectations of myself.
“I want to see a difference between the beginning and the end of the year, that I’ve developed, improved and worked with the team as well as I can. I want to build a relationship and move forward together.”
If results are disappointing, some will question whether putting Schumacher at Haas was a good idea, considering he was initially linked to Alfa Romeo for 2021.
“The decision was of course made together,” he said. “But in the end, I personally have very little experience in F1, and Ferrari is extremely knowledgeable. They know the business, they know exactly what is best for me.
“[Haas] is not the biggest team, but in return, they have a very direct line to their drivers. We are in contact very often, which is of course nice.
“It is also good to know or discuss what the team’s goals are and they work very well with their drivers. I also believe that a breath of fresh air will be very good for the team. Hopefully, it motivates and lets us go well together.
“I felt at home straight away. Sometimes that takes longer. At Haas, the time had come after the first day, after the first meeting. I am happy to have stayed there. It is a good station to develop myself further.”