Sacking Mick Schumacher for Nico Hulkenberg ‘doesn’t make any sense’

Nico Hulkenberg has replaced Mick Schumacher at Haas ahead of the 2023 season.

On his day, Mick Schumacher is a very capable and talented F1 driver, with his P6 finish last season in Austria showcasing just how good the young German can be.

Unfortunately for the 23-year-old, his inconsistency has cost him in Formula 1, with his tendency to crash the car making him an awfully expensive asset for a small team such as Haas.

With this in mind, the team have decided to replace Schumacher with the vastly experienced Nico Hulkenberg, who returns to the grid at the age of 35.

Former Force India and Red Bull performance engineer Blake Hinsey has praised Hulkenberg as a “special driver” but has question Haas’ decision to bring him in to replace Schumacher.

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“I like Nico, because he was on the other car when I was at Force India,” he said via GPFans.

“He’s a good driver – is he going to be better in two years than Mick would be in two years? I have no idea. And that’s super hard to tell.

“It seems like Mick didn’t really push. He was just really finding his feet and had a couple of moments in the middle of the season where you’re like, ‘Alright, alright’, but now it’s super hard to say. It’s a really weird appointment and I think it doesn’t make any sense to me.”

Hulkenberg has revealed that his talks with Haas to replace Schumacher actually began over the summer break but ended with the team deciding to give their young driver more time to prove himself.

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In the end, high-profile crashes in Monaco and Saudi Arabia which reportedly cost Haas over $3m in repairs cost Schumacher his seat with the team, much to the disappointment of the German.

Schumacher will spend the 2023 season serving as Mercedes’ reserve driver, learning from some of the best in the business as he attempts to find a way back onto the grid next season.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has admitted that Schumacher’s situation may be similar to Nyck de Vries’ last season, meaning that they may allow him to join a different team, should the opportunity not arise for him to take a race seat at Mercedes within a couple of years.