Schumacher and his Haas teammate Nikita Mazepin backed the timesheets in qualifying for the season opener in Bahrain two weeks ago, finishing 19th and 20th respectively.
Haas opted against significant development for the VF-21 car, treating 2021 as a transition year in order to focus on new regulations coming in 2022.
Schumacher was eight-tenths of a second adrift of a place in Q2 in Bahrain, and was almost four-tenths of a second slower than 18th-place Sebastian Vettel.
But the German driver felt Haas’ qualifying performance was about what the team expected in their first weekend of racing.
“We shouldn’t say it was disappointing in any way,” said Schumacher when asked about the gap to Q2 during qualifying in Bahrain.
“I think we’ve done pretty well. We had a clean ride. This is what we wanted. We managed to be close to what we imagined in terms of pace.
“Obviously we had a small deficit. I am 95% satisfied with my tour. Obviously, there is still a lot that I can improve and I will definitely be working on it for now.
“For me, it’s about gaining that experience and hopefully being able to turn it into a consistent improvement model from session to session.”
Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-21, George Russell, Williams FW43B
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
The other nine F1 teams managed to get at least one car through Q2 in Bahrain, seven of which also had a driver role in Q3.
Schumacher nevertheless hoped that Haas would be able to challenge and fight with other teams for Q2 spots throughout the season.
“I’m positive in that sense, yes,” Schumacher said.
“We are going to work on ourselves. I will be working on myself a lot. I see the motivation of the team and I see no reason why we shouldn’t be optimistic that throughout the season we will even be able – hopefully at some point – to enter Q2.
Schumacher’s optimism was echoed by Mazepin, who lamented a “very bad” qualifying lap by finishing eight tenths of a second on his teammate after turning at Turn 1 in the dying moments of Q1.
“I think what he said was correct,” Mazepin said when asked if he agreed with Schumacher’s belief in Q2.
“Then, regarding my lap there, obviously it was very bad, because I had this problem with the brakes and obviously I only had one attempt on the lap itself, this which is boring.
“But then, it’s very important to have the big picture. We knew that this first qualifying and this year was going to be quite difficult.