Haas replaces Mick Schumacher with Nico Hulkenberg
by FARUK IMAMOVIC | VIEW 152
German Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher will leave Haas at the end of the season, and compatriot Nico Hulkenberg will take his place. Schumacher's future has long been in question, with Haas announcing the driver change ahead of the final race weekend of the season in Abu Dhabi this week.
The son of the seven-time Formula 1 world champion, Michael Schumacher, lost his place in Haas, and Nico Hulkenberg, still the current reserve driver of Aston Martin, will drive in his place next season. Mick rode with the Russian Nikita Mazepin last season, and this season he was accompanied by Kevin Magnussen.
He won the first points in his F1 career in Silverstone, where he was eighth, and then finished sixth in Austria. He hasn't won any points since then, but he still contributed a third of Haas' total points. He was criticized for several costly incidents, which also made his position at Haas difficult.
Schumacher will have a hard time finding a place in the car for the next season. Only the one in Williams is vacant, but it will probably go to Logan Sargeant if he finishes in the top 6 of the overall standings in Formula 2.
He is currently third and is well on his way to meet the criteria. "I would like to thank Mick Schumacher for his contribution to the team over the past couple of years," said Haas team boss Guenther Steiner. "Mick's pedigree in the junior categories was well known and he has continued to grow and develop as a driver in his time with Haas F1 Team - culminating in his first Formula 1 points-scoring successes earlier this season.
While choosing to go in separate directions for the future the entire team wishes Mick well for the next steps in his career path and beyond."
Mick did not hide his disappointment with the Haas decision.
"This is going to be my last race with Haas.
I don't want to hide the fact that I am very disappointed about the decision not to renew our contract. Nevertheless, I would like to thank both Haas and Ferrari for giving me this opportunity. Those years together have helped me mature both technically and personally.
And especially when things got difficult, I realised how much I love this sport. "It was at times bumpy but I steadily improved, learned a lot and now know for sure that I deserve a place in Formula 1. The subject is anything but closed for me.
Setbacks only make you stronger. said Schumacher. "My fire burns for Formula 1 and I will fight hard to return to the starting grid." In his place, the 35-year-old Hulkenberg will drive for Haas next season, and thus fully returns to Formula 1.
He left the sport in 2019, but occasionally returned and drove five races as a substitute driver for Racing Point and Aston Martin. He replaced Sebastian Vettel in two races this year. Driving for Williams, Force India, Sauber, Renault, Racing Point, and Aston Martin, he took part in 181 races, and in the past two seasons, he played the role of Aston Martin's reserve driver.
In his career, he won 521 points, and his best results are fourth place in the race and one pole position. "I'm very happy to move into a full-time race seat with Haas in 2023. I feel like I never really left Formula 1," said Hülkenberg.
He will start working for Haas already on Tuesday after the race in Abu Dhabi and will drive this year's car for the purpose of testing Pirelli tires.