Haas has made the call to axe Mick Schumacher with the struggling Formula 1 youngster set to race with the team for the final time this week.
Schumacher, the son of seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher, confirmed on social media on Thursday that this week’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix would mark his last outing with Haas, which has opted against renewing his contract.
Haas has revealed Nico Hülkenberg will replace Schumacher, sealing his Formula 1 comeback after three years without a full-time drive.
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Schumacher made it clear he was determined to find a new Formula 1 seat, declaring “my fire burns … and I will fight hard to return to the starting grid”.
“I don’t want to hide the fact that I am very disappointed about the decision not to renew our contract,” Schumacher said.
“Nevertheless, I would like to thank both Haas F1 and (engine partner) 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 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.”
Haas’ decision to replace Schumacher with Hülkenberg reflects an extraordinary overhaul of strategy by the team, which operated with two rookies in 2021 — Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin — and will contest the 2023 world championship with two drivers who have more than 320 grand prix appearances between them.
Hülkenberg will compete in the 2023 world championship with Kevin Magnussen, who made his own Formula 1 comeback when he filled the void of the sacked Mazepin this year.
Schumacher only managed to finish in 19th in the 2021 standings, and is placed 16th with one race remaining this season.
The 23-year-old has also cost Haas a considerable amount of money in damages caused by crashing his car.
“I would like to thank Mick Schumacher for his contribution to the team over the past couple of years,” said Haas boss Günther Steiner in a statement.
“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 (the) 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.”
Hülkenberg said he was “very happy” to return to Formula 1.
“I feel like I never really left Formula 1,” the German said.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to do what I love the most again and want to thank (team owner) Gene Haas and Günther Steiner for their trust.”
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