Haas boss Guenther Steiner has confirmed that the American team are in full control of Mick Schumacher’s future with Haas, amid ongoing discussions regarding his place on the grid for the 2023 Formula 1 season.
Mick Schumacher began to follow in the footsteps of his father and seven-time Formula One champion Michael by joining the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) three years ago. He then won the Formula 2 world championship and the 23-year-old German driver got the chance to make his Formula 1 debut last season: with the help of Ferrari, Mick signed with Haas and partnered at the start of last year when he signed with Haas alongside fellow rookie Nikita Mazepin. While the poor pace and performance of Haas in 2021 did not allow Mick to fight for points, he still out-qualified his teammate 20 times in 22 events.
Nikita Mazepin was set to stay with Haas alongside the Ferrari junior for the current F1 season as well, but he was removed due to Russia’s war on Ukraine. As a result, Mick Schumacher started the 2022 Formula 1 season alongside returning Kevin Magnussen, who leads the qualifying battle 11-2 ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix over and finds himself 10 points ahead in the Drivers’ Standings at the summer break.
Yet it is worth pointing out that Mick Schumacher was able to finish ahead in race trim eight times, which is an encouraging sign regarding his performances, particularly in the last few races. The start of the 2022 Formula 1 championship was rather difficult for the Ferrari Driver Academy member, who did not manage to score any points until the Silverstone race, after being involved in few incidents such as in Jeddah and Monte Carlo.
There were some rumours in the media that Mick Schumacher may not be confirmed by Haaas for next season, which would put him at risk of not finding a place on the grid for the 2023 Formula 1 championship. While Mick can be considered among the many drivers who have discussed with Otmar Szafnauer about potentially replacing Fernando Alonso at Alpine, his future at Haas has not yet been decided.
As Haas take into consideration all options for next year, team principal Guenther Steiner says Ferrari will not be the decisive factor:
“No, we don’t have to wait to see what Ferrari say, we never decide the driver before the summer break and we will not do so this year. Obviously I will start to speak with Gene [Haas] over the summer break and then you know how we do it. You will ask again at the next race in Europe and then we will tell you some time at the end of September or October what we are doing, and the same will be happening this year hopefully.” – he explained.
However, the American side has an ongoing agreement with Scuderia Ferrari that gives the Maranello team the possibility to put one of their academy drivers in the car, but it will be Haas who make the decision regarding which one it is.
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“I don’t want to speak about our Ferrari deal because otherwise they get upset! At the end of the day I don’t know the real deal between Ferrari and Mick, and I don’t need to know. If he decides to go somewhere else, I cannot change it. Only Gene and me are involved in that process.” – the Haas boss continued.
The American team signed Kevin Magnussen on a multi-year contract ahead of the 2022 Formula 1 campaign and the Dane is currently 11th in the Drivers’ Standings having finished in the top 10 on four occasions. times. Guenther Steiner is pleased to have the 29-year-old old, after previously working with him on and off for five years, sticking around.
“I’m very happy, at least it’s one headache less. He’s doing a good job and he’s enjoying himself here — at least I think so! You’d have to ask him if he already regrets coming back but I don’t think so, I think he’s in a pretty good place. I don’t think he was expecting the car to be performing like it is, so for us to have him for next year is something less to think about. Let’s focus on getting everything ready for next year, but not on the driver.” – Guenther Steiner concluded.
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