For several months, the situation of the Haas lineup for the 2023 season seemed clear: Kevin Magnussen would continue and Mick Schumacher would go out.
However, at Haas they do not have a firm candidate to replace the German, which, together with a more stable streak, has meant that Mick Schumacher has options to hold on to his seat for another year.
Names like Nico Hulkenberg, Daniel Ricciardo or Pietro Fittipaldi appear on the list of the American team, but they all have some negative point that makes the option of renewing Mick for a third season not seem so bad.
However, Mick Schumacher’s hopes suffered a setback after another accident at the Japanese GP, which drew criticism from his manager Gunther Steiner , who did not want to excuse his pupil.
But as if that were not enough, this weekend another more forceful attack has come, that of none other than Gene Haas, owner of the team. At the NASCAR event in Las Vegas, speaking to the Associated Press, the American commented: “In this sport, being almost a rookie driver is not possible: it costs too much.”
And in reference to the accidents suffered by Michael Schumacher’s son, he continued: “If you make the slightest mistake in the choice of driver, or in the strategy, or in the choice of tires, it costs you millions of dollars.”
“I think Mick has a lot of potential, but he costs a fortune and has wrecked a lot of cars, which has cost us a lot of money that we don’t have. If you’re in the points, and you’re Verstappen and you destroy cars, we’ll deal with it. go back and destroy cars, it’s very hard to accept.
Even so, Gene Haas does not completely close the door and assures that in these last four races everything will be decided: “Mick’s future is going to be decided by Mick”.
“We’re just waiting. We need Mick to get points and we’re trying to give him as much time as possible to see what he can do. If he wants to stay with us, he has to show us that he can get more points. That’s what we’re hoping for.”
And when asked if then Mick Schumacher has an exam of four tests left (as many as grand prizes remain until the end), he answered jokingly: “Well, if he wins the next race, we’ll keep it. Somewhere in between there is a Gray zone”.
Reviewing his team’s 2022 season, Haas lamented that his team is repeating mistakes: “We started the year brilliantly and I think the first half of the season was very good, and it seems like we’re back to business as usual.
“Formula 1 is very difficult. When I started, there were six seconds between the leaders and the rear and the 107% rule applied. Now we are all within two seconds, so it has become much more difficult and there is no bad teams.
In the absence of four appointments (one of them, in Brazil, with a sprint race), Haas is ninth in the constructors’ championship with the same points as AlphaTauri, and they have ahead of Aston Martin Racing 11 points behind them and Alfa Romeo to 18.
For his part, Mick Schumacher is 16th in the drivers’ championship, with only 12 points, 10 less than Kevin Magnussen. Mick is one point ahead of Lance Stroll and one point behind Yuki Tsunoda.