Guenther Steiner claims Ralf Schumacher wanted a ‘fight’

Haas finally announced their 2023 driver line-up last week, with Nico Hulkenberg replacing Mick Schumacher.

Mick Schumacher will not be on the Formula 1 grid in 2023, much to the disappointment of fans all over the world.

The young German has impressed in spells during his time with Haas, however his lack of consistency and tendency to make mistakes have forced Guenther Steiner and his team to make a chance.

Nico Hulkenberg has been selected to partner Kevin Magnussen for next season, with the 35-year-old making a return to the grid after a spell serving as a reserve driver.

Some have questioned Haas’ decision to replace a young up and coming driver with someone coming towards the end of their career, with Mick Schumacher’s uncle Ralf being very vocal about his thoughts on the matter.

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The former F1 driver accused Steiner of stalling his decision, claiming that Haas never valued his nephew and suggesting that they have made a poor choice to replace him.

Steiner has now hit back at these claims, telling the media that he has no interest in getting involved in a media fight with Schumacher.

“He wanted to cause a public fight,” he said.

“I’m not interested in that. I do what I do and he can say whatever he wants. 

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“I’m not interested in answering that because I’m not a self-promoter. My decision was certainly not influenced by Ralf’s behaviour.”

Hulkenberg has recently revealed that while negotiations with Haas began during the summer break, the team decided to give Mick Schumacher more time to keep his seat after his performances picked up in the second half of the season.

Steiner claims that this was the fairest thing for Haas to do, claiming that Schumacher was then given a genuine chance to impress rather than it being a case of his team being indecisive.

“We didn’t play any game for three months that we knew what we were doing and didn’t tell him,” he explained.

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“We looked for a long time to see what was best for us and took our time. That wasn’t delaying.”

Fortunately for Schumacher there appears to be a safety net laid out for him in Formula 1, with Toto Wolff suggesting that the German would benefit from a reserve driver role at Mercedes, with there currently being a vacancy following the departure of Nyck de Vries.

Ralf Schumacher has also spoken on this matter, suggesting that the opportunity for his nephew to learn from Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes might be too good to turn down as he hunts for a return to the grid.