Nico Hulkenberg will replace Mick Schumacher at Haas next year, the Formula One team has confirmed.
Hulkenberg, 35, has not had a full-time F1 drive since 2019 but made four appearances in the last two years as a COVID-19 super-sub.
He made his F1 debut in 2010 with Williams and has driven for Force India, Sauber, Renault, Racing Point and Aston Martin since then, as well as winning Le Mans with Porsche in 2015.
“As I always said it was not an easy decision what is best to do for the team,” Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said. “In the summer when we didn’t have a decision there was no decision. The contract was only signed yesterday, for example. We wanted to see what to do best and give Mick as much time as possible that we can make the best decision possible.
“There was not a point on August 7 or nothing like this. It was a continuous talking with Mr. [Gene] Haas [team owner], what is best for the team and then we came up with a conclusion I think it was last week what to do.”
Schumacher, who joined Haas at the start of 2021, is now without a drive for next year, with all ten teams confirming their intended line-ups for 2023. It leaves the 23-year-old with an uncertain future.
The son of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher has been part of Ferrari’s academy since 2019, but is not expected to be affiliated with the famous Italian team beyond the end of this season.
In a statement to Instagram, Schumacher wrote: “I don’t want to hide the fact I am very disappointed about the decision not to renew our contract. Nevertheless I would like to thank Haas and Ferrari for giving me this opportunity.
“Those years together have helped me to mature both technically and personally. And especially when things got difficult, I realized 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.
“My fire burns for Formula 1 and I will fight hard to return to the starting grid.”
One option for Schumacher could be joining a different team as a reserve, with Mercedes rumoured to be a potential landing spot for the former F2 champion.
Although he scored points at two races this year, Schumacher has been involved in a costly series of accidents in his time with Haas, which are believed to have been a key factor for the team not continuing with him for a third season.
Hulkenberg will partner Kevin Magnussen,…