The German was in the spotlight heading into the Baku weekend following his huge crash in Monaco, which came off the back of earlier incidents in Jeddah and Miami.
His weekend was compromised by a technical issue that robbed him of FP1, and thereafter he was catching up. He qualified 20th and last, some 1.1s off teammate Kevin Magnussen.
In the race he finished 14th, only ahead of Nicholas Latifi, who was handicapped by an early stop-and-go penalty. He was also 38 seconds adrift of Yuki Tsunoda, who had a long pitstop with a rear wing issue.
While encouraged that Schumacher had an incident-free weekend, Steiner stressed he also has to find some speed.
“It is for sure a tricky situation at the moment for him and for the team as well,” Steiner told Motorsport.com. “This is a performance sport, and what do you need in a performance sport? Performance.
“But I think he did the right thing, because if he would have wrecked again here, I mean, that wouldn’t be good, you know?
“I’d rather it was like this than wrecking again, trying to do something which maybe isn’t there.”
Mick Schumacher, Haas F1 Team, on the grid
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
Schumacher admitted that he hadn’t had a perfect race, suggesting that the lost practice time had ultimately compromised his set-up.
“Not great, my back hurts a bit,” he said after the flag. “It’s not the weekend we were kind of hoping for.
“I think that from Saturday onwards it was kind of clean, so that’s good. But anyway, once you get to Saturday, it’s kind of difficult to judge if the set-up is right or not.
“We only had one free practice to do that and unfortunately, the set-up wasn’t right. So yeah, then we were stuck with it until the race.”
When Motorsport.com asked him to explain his struggles with the car, he explained: “It felt quite understeery mid-corner and oversteery on exit, so it’s not ideal. So we were using the tyres quite a lot. And I think until the last stint it wasn’t great, but then the last stint actually felt quite okay.”
After a run of three previous races without points Steiner was further frustrated when Magnussen retired with a Ferrari engine failure while on course for a top 10 finish.
“It was something in the power unit, the V6 or turbo,” said Steiner. “It’s never good to have issues. He would have been eighth or ninth. Ninth was pretty safe.
“Our biggest problem was we couldn’t get past [Esteban] Ocon on the straight, otherwise, eighth was pretty sure. But it didn’t happen – again.”