Haas have seemingly made their mind up with regards to their driver line-up for 2023, with Nico Hulkenberg ready to take Mick Schumacher’s seat for next year.
Aston Martin have signed Stoffel Vandoorne as a reserve driver for next year, indicating that Hulkenberg will be going elsewhere, and the German himself has said that he is quietly confident of being back on the grid next year, with negotiations progressing.
German motor-racing legend Hans-Joachim Stuck has suggested that Haas will be making a mistake by getting rid of Schumacher, claiming that the son of F1 legend Michael Schumacher is set for a massive future in the sport if given the chance to do so.
“I say very clearly that Mick belongs in Formula 1, a young driver sometimes has to throw a car away because he doesn’t know where the limit is,” said Stuck in response to team owner Gene Haas’ comments that Schumacher costs the team too much money by crashing the car.
“Guenther Steiner has made a mistake in putting unnecessary pressure on Mick with his criticism. I say if someone has a seat and doesn’t take Mick, he’s a fool.
“Once he’s in the right car, he’ll be a big one in the future.”
Schumacher has impressed at times in his spell with Haas, outperforming 2021 teammate Nikita Mazepin in both their rookie years, and scoring a couple of impressive finishes this year.
Steiner suggested that Mick needed to score points in his final few races of the season if he was to stand any chance of keeping his seat for next year, however despite bettering his teammate Kevin Magnussen’s pace on occasions, damage to his car or small mistakes have cost the German any chance of bringing home points in Austin and Mexico.
Ralf Schumacher has made the suggestion that the decision to replace Mick with Hulkenberg is a foolish one, with the Aston Martin reserve driver coming to the tail end of his career at 35 years of age, while his nephew can only get better, an opinion shared by former F1 driver Marc Surer.
“Nico has been out for three years. He’s on the other side of his career,” he said.
“Mick, on the other hand, has improved enormously this season and represents continuity in the team. He is the future.”