‘It’s a bit cheap to ask’: Guenther Steiner explains Mick Schumacher decision

Nico Hulkenberg will partner Kevin Magnussen at Haas this season after the team decided to replace Mick Schumacher.

Haas’ 2022 season was much more successful that the year prior, as the small American team finished eighth in the championship with the highs of a P6 finish in Austria and a P5 finish in Bahrain.

It was Mick Schumacher who secured the stellar result for the team at the Red Bull Ring, as the German showed glimpses of his quality over the course of the season.

While there were certainly times in 2022 where Schumacher showed that he has the potential to be a successful Formula 1 driver, the 23-year-old also had some low points, with high-profile crashes in Saudi Arabia and Monaco being two.

It has been reported that Schumacher cost Haas over €3m in damages in 2022, splitting his Haas clean in half after hitting the barrier in Monaco.

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Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner eventually made the tough decision to replace Schumacher with 35-year-old Nico Hulkenberg for 2023, choosing to put their faith in experience rather than inconsistent potential.

With Schumacher clearly having the potential to race in F1, some fans were confused as to why Steiner did not offer his driver a reserve driver role for this season, but the Italian has suggested that this would have been an insulting offer to make the German.

“I didn’t ask him to be honest. It’s always difficult for somebody, if you have driver for a team, to then be relegated to reserve driver,” Steiner told GPFans.

“I don’t think he would be happy with that. He didn’t approach me about that and I didn’t want to [approach him about it].

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“It’s a bit cheap to ask him, ‘We won’t let you drive the car, but would you like to be the reserve driver’.”

The 23-year-old German has now signed for Mercedes as their reserve driver, with the aim of spending a year learning from some of the best in the business before returning to the grid whenever the opportunity arises.

Bernie Ecclestone had suggested that Schumacher should forget about his F1 dream following his release from Haas, however the German has claimed that he feels like he belongs in the sport and has no intention to move to a different motorsport series.