‘Is this about drivers or qualifying?’ Guenther Steiner unhappy with Mick Schumacher question

Mick Schumacher does not currently have a contract with Haas for next season, and he has been linked with Alpine.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has not decided who will be his second driver yet for next season, and grew slightly irritated at the questions being aimed at him about it.

Mick Schumacher is not currently under contract for next season with the American team despite his recent improvements, and he out-qualified Kevin Magnussen for the third time this season in Spa.

Before he ended 15th on Saturday in a car that was not expected to do well in Belgium anyway, Steiner was being grilled by Sky Sports commentator David Croft about the contractual situation at the team.

It is uncertain that Schumacher will remain part of the Ferrari driver academy next season, and Ferrari’s contract with the Banbury-based side essentially necessitates a Ferrari driver being in the car.

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In Formula 3, Arthur Leclerc and Oliver Bearman are making very good impressions of themselves, with the latter winning the sprint race at the Belgian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Robert Shwartzman is on the side lines this year – he is expected to perform a practice session with the Scuderia at some stage in 2022.

One must not forget Callum Ilott either. The Briton has been impressive in IndyCar this season after he could not gather the funding to contest F2 either this year or last.

He is understood to be on a break from the Ferrari academy, but were he to return to Europe, a rekindling of that partnership might be on the cards.

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In a shock twist though, soon-to-be former McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo was reportedly contacted by Steiner about driving them next year.

There is a possibility that Schumacher may well head to Alpine to fill their vacant seat – Ricciardo has also been linked with an Enstone return – so there is plenty of speculation as to who will be at Haas, and who will be at Alpine next year.

Steiner, however, refused to be drawn into any of that when asked about it.

”I don’t know, I don’t know anything about my second driver,” he said during qualifying.

When asked again, the 51-year-old said “is this about drivers or qualifying?” adding, “we will answer it when we are ready to answer it, we will speak with Mr [Gene] Haas and decide.”

Due to his engine penalties, Schumacher is expected to start the Belgian Grand Prix last, with Magnussen ahead in P12 having initially qualified 18th.