NAnother race, then it’s over for Mick Schumacher for the time being. His Formula 1 racing team Haas announced the separation from the son of the record world champion on Thursday morning at 9 a.m. local time in Abu Dhabi. As expected, Schumacher’s contract as a regular driver for the American team was not renewed after two years. Instead of the 23-year-old German, 35-year-old Nico Hülkenberg will sit in the Haas cockpit next season. After the retirement of four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, Formula 1 will have a German driver in the 2023 season.
“I would like to thank Mick Schumacher for his contribution to the team over the past few years,” said team boss Günther Steiner in a statement from the racing team: “He continued to grow as a driver during his time with the Haas F1 Team.” The entire team voted for decided the separation. “We wish Mick all the best on his career path.” Schumacher did not have a say in the press release. He later expressed disappointment at the decision “not to renew our contract. I would like to say a big thank you to Haas F1, Scuderia Ferrari and the Ferrari Driver Academy for giving me this opportunity.”
“Mick has a lot of potential but he’s costing us a fortune”
Fluctuations in performance are said to have been cited as the reason. The final will be his 43rd Grand Prix. Schumacher has finished 37 of his 42 starts. “It was bumpy at times, but I’ve steadily improved, learned a lot and now I know for sure that I deserve a place in Formula 1. The topic is far from over for me. Setbacks only make you stronger,” said the German racing driver. “My passion burns for Formula 1 and I will fight hard to get back on the grid.”
Schumacher was informed by Steiner on Wednesday about the end of the collaboration. Steiner meanwhile rejected the accusation that Schumacher had simply been dropped: “Absolutely” everything had been done to support him. Steiner admitted that the team also made mistakes.
Before the finale of the season on Sunday in Abu Dhabi (2 p.m. CET in the FAZ live ticker for Formula 1 and on Sky), he is 16th in the overall standings with twelve points. His teammate Kevin Magnussen is twelfth (25). The best result for the Dane, whose contract runs until the end of 2023, was fifth place at the start of the season in Bahrain.
Schumacher finished sixth at the Austrian Grand Prix in the summer. Compared to his team-mates, he clearly performed worse in qualifying. In the 21 races, however, he finished thirteen times ahead of Magnussen, who was seven years his senior. The fact that he collected fewer points also had to do with accidents, technical defects and mistakes in strategy.
Schumacher had suspected for a long time that he would have no future with Haas. The decision against him was said to have been made before the race last Sunday in Brazil. He had been able to read the rejection from the comments of team owner Gene Haas weeks ago: “I think Mick has a lot of potential, but he’s costing us a fortune, he’s wrecked a lot of cars,” said the billionaire. There were two violent accidents, not a particularly high rate. Supposedly the scrap production cost three million euros.