(GMM) Mick Schumacher appears set to be ousted from the Haas team, and therefore the Formula 1 grid, at the end of the season.
The 23-year-old German was warned by low-profile team owner Gene Haas before Austin that only a string of points finishes would be enough to secure another contract.
Schumacher looked to be on track for points in the US GP until he ultimately tumbled down the order complaining of car damage and perhaps also a bad strategy call by the team.
“I had the feeling that I could have stayed out,” he said of the race strategy.
Team boss Gunther Steiner was asked by Bild newspaper if Haas was to blame for Schumacher’s poor result in Austin and he did “not want to comment”.
Team owner Gene Haas, however, was prepared to comment.
“When Mick and Kevin came in they both got the same tires,” he told the German newspaper.
“When Mick came out again, he was in a group of cars and stayed there, while Magnussen fell backwards to save his tires while Mick used them up.
“Magnussen was able to do 37 laps on a medium which nobody else was able to do, which is how he managed to get a few points in the end.”
Former F1 driver Timo Glock said Schumacher’s post-race body language was the clearest sign yet that Haas does not intend to re-sign him for 2023.
“The hurdle is very high for him at the moment,” he said. “Not because he doesn’t perform well, but because Haas has different ideas internally.
“I’m not sure to what extent a decision may have already been made, but if you read between the lines you can maybe see what Haas is going to do.”
Another former driver, Christian Danner, agrees.
“The question is whether the train has already left the station, and if you analyze all the nuances, you realize that they probably want to get rid of him,” he told Sport1.
Ralf Schumacher admits that his brother Michael’s son is facing an uphill struggle at Haas, but he also urges the team’s bosses to think deeply about their decision.
“Mick has done everything he has to do to continue driving for Haas in 2023,” he told Sky Deutschland.
“If Gene Haas and Gunther Steiner think about it properly, they will also realize that there is no alternative to Mick.
“Ricciardo won’t be there and Nico Hulkenberg is more likely to be on his way towards retirement than really tearing up the tracks again,” Schumacher added.
September 29, 2022
(GMM) German racing legend Hans-Joachim Stuck says it’s “completely incomprehensible” that Mick Schumacher may be pushed out of Formula 1.
It appears one of 23-year-old Schumacher’s last options to keep his career alive in 2023 – Williams – actually favors replacing Nicholas Latifi with its own American development driver Logan Sargeant.
One of the only issues is that the 21-year-old Formula 2 driver does not currently have enough super license points.
“I think he’s ready,” Williams boss Jost Capito told RTL.
“Yes, he needs a few points which of course doesn’t help, but I’m confident he’s ready whether he gets the points or not.”
Williams may also be attracted to Sargeant’s nationality, amid the surging popularity of F1 in America.
“We would not take him for that,” Capito insists. “Either we think he is ready and able, or not.”
Most insiders, however, think Sargeant’s name is being promoted only to improve Williams’ negotiating position.
Stuck, a former Formula 1 driver from Germany, cannot believe Haas is seriously considering ousting Schumacher – and that a rival team hasn’t already snapped him up for 2023.
“I just don’t understand why nobody has secured him yet,” the 71-year-old told Eurosport.
“(Gunther) Steiner isn’t going to get a driver like Lewis Hamilton. Mick is the best option,” he insisted.
Schumacher is also thought to be losing the backing of Ferrari’s driver academy.
“Once you’re out of Formula 1 and you can no longer prove yourself, you’re gone faster than you can believe it,” Stuck said.
“It’s an extremely dangerous situation for Mick.”
August 3, 2022
(GMM) Mick Schumacher risks falling out of Formula 1 in 2023, the major German newspaper Bild reports.
Retiring quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel had recommended his 23-year-old countryman for the Aston Martin seat next year, but the team signed up Fernando Alonso.
“Sebastian’s good words to Lawrence Stroll didn’t help,” RTL pundit Felix Gorner said.
“That means there is only Haas for next season. It’s now important for him to negotiate well in the next few weeks to secure his seat.”
Indeed, having been highly critical of Haas in recent weeks, Mick’s uncle Ralf Schumacher is suddenly now talking up the small American team.
“For my nephew Mick, Aston Martin would have been a good option,” he told Sky Deutschland.
“But he’s already with a team in Haas that is doing a good job and making progress. Mick’s performance has improved significantly over the past few weeks, so I can well imagine them staying together,” Schumacher added.
“I don’t know what else Haas could do because there aren’t that many experienced drivers on the market. And we can see that new drivers need a long start-up time with these cars and no testing.”
Bild newspaper correspondents Silja Rulle, Michel Milewski and Tom Kollmar claim that there have already been “initial talks” between Mick and Haas about 2023.
“But the relationship between the two parties is difficult,” they acknowledged. “Gunther Steiner has been publicly critical of Mick in the past.”
According to Bild, another big problem for Schumacher is that he may be losing the support of Mattia Binotto, as the German is a leading Ferrari academy driver.
Even Williams is apparently not an option for Mick.
“Alex Albon is staying and engine supplier Mercedes would like to see its driver Nyck de Vries replace Nicholas Latifi,” the newspaper claims.
“What that means it that we face a year without a German driver in Formula 1.”
Mick’s final chance to stay in Formula 1 could be a seat at Alpha Tauri.
“Yuki Tsunoda hasn’t been decided yet, but he is number 1 on our list,” Dr Helmut Marko told f1-insider.com.
“We haven’t had any talks with Mick Schumacher. He’s a Ferrari junior.”