Four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel has made yet further comments on the future of Mick Schumacher, who was dropped by Haas at the end of 2022 in favour of Nico Hulkenberg.
The American’s handling of Schumacher has already been questioned several times; however, Vettel has since added that the outfit wasn’t a “good environment” for the 2020 F2 World Champion, who is undoubtedly talented.
Schumacher’s rookie season in F1 with Haas came in 2021, where he was given a car unable to perform any higher than the last row of the grid, with the team having effectively used their 2020 machinery for a second season.
This was so they had a good package for the start of the new aerodynamic regulations, something which they had.
Unfortunately, Schumacher simply made too many errors during his sophomore year, including, two huge crashes at Saudi Arabia and Monaco, which were incredibly costly for the team.
As a result, he was heavily criticised by team principal Guenther Steiner and owner Gene Haas, despite the fact the son of Michael Schumacher did improve as the season went on.
He continued to be criticised throughout the season, where he then appeared to be given some hope that his contract would be extended with the team beyond 2022, something which never happened.
The signing of Hulkenberg came prior to the season finale, by at which point no other seats on the grid were available, forcing Schumacher to sit out 2023.
Vettel, who has mentored the young German during his two years in the sport, labelled it as a “shame” that he won’t be on the grid next season. But that he hopefully can find a “better place” in the future.
“Michael Schumacher is my idol, that’s why I’ve known Mick for many years,” Vettel told ServusTV.
“Of course it’s a shame for him that his Formula 1 career won’t continue next year.
“He may be someone who needs a little more time to learn some things and also a good environment. I don’t think he had the best environment, so I wish he would come back in the future and find a better place in that sense.”
For 2023, Schumacher has seemingly found that “better place” Vettel was talking about, as the former Ferrari Driver Academy member has been signed by Mercedes to be their reserve driver for next season.
His father also worked for Mercedes from 2010-2012, with the seven-time World Champion having raced for the Silver Arrows during his comeback to the sport.
Mercedes is certainly a strong place to be next season, even if it is in the background testing the W14.
Vettel is hopeful that Schumacher will “learn a lot” from the likes of Lewis Hamilton, something which will benefit him going forward.
“It’s now up to him to work very hard and then come back stronger,” said Vettel.
“Of course I hope he can do it, because he has the potential there, he undoubtedly has that.
“It’s a completely different role. Of course third driver isn’t what you want because you don’t race then.
“But it’s okay because I think he has the opportunity to learn a lot from the team and the other drivers now.”