2020 F2 champion Schumacher moved to F1 this year with Haas and has so far led his efforts at the back of the field, beating teammate Nikita Mazepin in all but two races both drivers have completed.
Schumacher was regularly heard exchanging comments with racing engineer Gary Gannon on the team’s radio, and also received advice from four-time F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Komatsu emphasized Schumacher’s openness and willingness to try different ideas or approaches, taking into account the team’s feedback even though he is personally not sure.
“It was clear to all of us from the start that he is very, very open to any ideas,” Komatsu said. “So if we say to him, ‘OK, let’s try this, why don’t we go in that direction?’, Even if he doesn’t agree with that, he’s happy to try.
“Whether it’s a car setup, or just the management, the driving style, for a lap, for the race distance, he will always try it.
“Then that will give us very good data. Whether it works or not, it did anyway, so we have the data and the feedback.
“All that openness and willingness to try everything, then being able to be constructive when the situation, like, I think it was Baku, where we had a car problem. His session was so discontinuous. Of course, I am. sure he was frustrated and angry in the car.
“But even then [he stayed] very calm, constructive, gave us amazing feedback. So when you work like this it’s useful to everyone.
Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-21
Photo By: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
“He has taken a big step in all areas, but [in] tire management, I think he made a big leap in the last few races.
Mazepin has been open about his own struggles with the Haas VF-21 car throughout his own rookie season, struggling with a slightly heavier chassis than Schumacher and a tough aero set that left him “pretty lost. “during configuration.
Komatsu said the drivers needed “very different” things from the Haas car, and it took time for the team to fully understand their different styles.
“Nikita likes a lot more stability, especially in high speed corners, and Mick can handle it,” said Komatsu.
“But sometimes, to take care of the tires in the race, we almost have to focus more on a car that is gentle on the tires. Their requirement is therefore actually quite different. It took us a long time to figure this out.
“I think we’re getting there in that sense. But one thing is to get the performance for a lap, another thing is for the 300 kilometers on Sunday [with] tire management.
“Mick is doing very well. He has taken a good step recently. Nikita gets there too. He was a little late at the start. Part of that is for us, too, to understand just how much, say, a different characteristic Nikita needs to be comfortable with.
“We are still working on this. But then it gets better too. We are continually working on it.