Ralf: “Michael Schumacher’s presence” would have made Steiner act differently

Haas boss Guenther Steiner would have treated Mick Schumacher better if his father, Michael Schumacher, was present.
 Shanghai, China,
Ralf Schumacher (GER), Toyota Racing and Michael Schumacher (GER), Scuderia Ferrari - Formula 1 World
Shanghai, China, Ralf Schumacher (GER), Toyota Racing and Michael…

That is the verdict from Ralf Schumacher, the brother of the legendary Michael and the uncle of axed driver Mick.

Mick lost his seat at Haas last season in a drama that played out on Netflix’s ‘Drive To Survive’, where Steiner was filmed criticising the driver and later had to deny claims of “bullying”.

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Ex-F1 driver Ralf has been critical of Steiner’s behaviour and has now said to F1-Insider: "I don't see it any differently today. 

"I think it's a shame that it had to come to this. I think that as a seasoned man you don't treat a young person like that. 

“Everyone has to and can withstand pressure in Formula 1. But that was just too much. 

“And I also believe – and this bothers me the most – that if my brother had been there, Steiner would often have behaved differently.

"I just think Michael's presence would have been enough. 

“But again, everyone does it the way they want. But Mick is of course family and you have to understand me: when you treat my family like that, I don't like it, as Ralf Schumacher."

Guenther Steiner (ITA) Haas F1 Team Prinicipal. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain,
Guenther Steiner (ITA) Haas F1 Team Prinicipal. Formula 1 World…

Michael Schumacher now is outside of the public’s view after a skiing accident in December 2013. His son, Mick, has taken a role as Mercedes’ third driver since being axed by Haas.

The frequency of Mick’s crashes, and the cost implication they brought to Haas, were a regular source of frustration for Steiner.

Ralf said: “Regarding Mick, you have to admit: in the first half of the season he was too slow and also produced too much damage. 

"If this is then discussed internally, I have no problem with it at all.

“Eddie Jordan would not have been different to me, Frank Williams has a slightly different way, but no less mean. 

“But as a driver you have to live with it. You have to perform, that's Formula 1.

Mick Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Reserve Driver. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2, Saudi Arabian Grand Prix,
Mick Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Reserve Driver. Formula 1 World…

"My problem was [an interview where Steiner said]: 'If Mick doesn't like it with us, he doesn't have to stay.' 

“I didn't understand that at all. I think Mick didn't have a fair chance either, even though he performed. This is also very clear with Netflix."

Steiner previously said: "Nothing was out of the ordinary. We don't need to do bullying, because after all, he was our driver. If we want to decide something, we don't have to do it. 

“I can also absolutely understand Mick's fans. In the heat of the moment, you sometimes say something you might say differently an hour later, but it wasn't bullying at all."

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