Guenther Steiner addresses Drive to Survive exaggerating Mick Schumacher tensions

Guenther Steiner was criticised during 2022 for how he treated Mick Schumacher, who was dropped at the end of the season.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has admitted that informing Mick Schumacher that he was going to be dropped wasn’t “a nice thing to do”, but that ultimately “you cannot beat up a dead horse”.

Towards the end of last season, it was expected that Schumacher’s contract wasn’t going to be extended beyond 2022, with Nico Hulkenberg having been widely discussed as his replacement.

Schumacher’s exit from Haas was confirmed before the season finale in Abu Dhabi, as was the signing of Hulkenberg.

Steiner discussed the process of sacking Schumacher and actually suggested that the young German knew what was coming, with him being a “clever kid”.

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The Italian praised Schumacher for having been “grown up” about the situation, but that he ultimately “wasn’t happy”.

“I just sat down with him and explained that we needed to bring the team forward with an experienced driver,” Steiner told iNews.

“It is part of the job. It is not a nice thing to do. I don’t enjoy it but you just have to be professional about it.

“Dealing with a Schumacher is not easy, as you can imagine. He was grown up about it. He wasn’t happy. I would say he saw the writing on the wall. He is a clever kid. He had two years. 

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“We didn’t get where we wanted to and I had to make some changes. You cannot beat up a dead horse.”

Steiner faced an incredible amount of criticism last season for how he treated Schumacher, with some of his comments about his former driver having been aired during the recently released series of ‘Drive to Survive’.

The Haas boss admits that he can’t take back what he said, but that he isn’t “ashamed” of his comments about Schumacher.

“I didn’t watch it, but I made the comments so I remember some of the things I say,” Steiner said. 

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“Obviously ‘Drive To Survive’ shows the worst and the most tricky moments. So obviously that’s what the show needs to do.

“Whatever was said, was said. I cannot take that one back and it was decided not to take it out because it you have nothing to hide and it is what it is. I’m not ashamed of it.

“I can explain it with ‘the heat of the moment’. As a racer you say things I wouldn’t say now. But things like this happen in racing.”