Formula 1 Racing

Hulkenberg’s experience made him better option than Schumacher

Mick Schumacher, Haas, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2022

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says that the team chose not to continue with Mick Schumacher as a driver in 2023 because he lacked experience compared to Nico Hulkenberg.

Haas confirmed today that Schumacher will depart the team after this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with veteran driver Hulkenberg replacing him for 2023.

Speaking to media including RaceFans after the announcement, Steiner explained that the main element that Schumacher lacked as a driver was “the experience of multiple years in Formula 1 and never having been with another team than us.”

“While Nico has been with three or four teams before, so he has experience,” Steiner continued. “Experience takes time to make and, at the moment, we don’t have time because we want to move forward. We don’t want to be where we are now, we want to get better.”

After a point-less season in 2021 in which Haas invested all their development time into their 2022 car, the team sit eighth in the constructors’ championship with one race remaining. Steiner believes having an experienced driver line-up will be critical to their efforts to move further up the midfield next season.

“We needed the experience to bring the team forward,” Steiner explained. “I don’t want to say the driver wasn’t ready for the future, the team also needs to be a lot better for the future to get better.

“I’m not blaming it on Mick that we are where we are. In 2018, we made good progress the first years… and then we stagnated in ’19 and then in ’20 we went down. So we need to go forward again and that’s best with experienced people and drivers which have done this before, which can bring experiences into our team which they have made in other teams.”

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Having suffered heavy crashes on various occasions throughout his two years racing with the team, Schumacher had received public criticism from his team principal following his costly accident during the Monaco Grand Prix. However, Steiner insisted that the crashes alone were not the deciding factor in the decision to drop Schumacher just as his strong points-scoring performances at the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone were not enough to earn him a third season.

“It’s bad, but also you cannot just say, ‘oh, he crashed’ obviously which wasn’t good – I’m not trying to make out that’s good, now – but then you could say how much influence have these very good results had?,” Steiner…

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