Steiner is still weighing options for next season: Kevin Magnussen will continue and the question is whether to keep Mick Schumacher or line up another driver.
At the beginning of 2022, doubts arose about the future of Mick Schumacher in the team -and in Formula 1 in general- due to several failures and the lack of results, but after the summer break the 23-year-old driver has managed to take a step forward .
While the Haas F1 Team has generally suffered from a lack of competitiveness, Mick has beaten Magnussen three times in the last five races and his chances of continuing into 2023 appear to be intact.
Asked if Mick Schumacher’s background and experience with the team could be an extra argument in the German’s favour, Steiner admitted that “the incumbent has a home advantage”.
“Of course, if you’re working with someone for two years, that’s an advantage. The starter always has an advantage, it’s a home advantage,” Steiner said at the Japanese GP.
“If you can have someone you’ve worked with for two years, it’s better than bringing in someone new, because as I’ve always said, you don’t have learning time.”
“That’s why you also signed Kevin, because he was already here. He was out for a year, but he knew everyone, and that’s always an advantage when you start somewhere.”
After a disastrous Monaco Grand Prix in May, in which Mick Schumacher suffered the latest of several accidents, he came under fire as the team’s bills for car damage mounted, with Steiner saying: “It’s not possible to go on like this.” .
At Suzuka, Steiner said he was happy with the way Mick Schumacher responded and found a better balance between risk and reward.
“I can’t say no, because he didn’t do any damage to the car or anything, and he scored points,” Steiner added, noting that Mick Schumacher had managed to establish himself.
“That comes when you get points, because if you don’t understand and develop as a driver, you don’t get points.”
If Haas decides not to continue with Mick Schumacher for what would be their third season together, the experienced Nico Hulkenberg remains one of the favourites.
Also Antonio Giovinazzi, who is expected to contest a second FP1 with the team at the upcoming United States Grand Prix as a favor to Ferrari, is on the list.
Meanwhile, Pietro Fittipaldi , who replaced the injured Romain Grosjean for the last two races of 2020, will do the team’s FP1 in Mexico and Abu Dhabi as part of the requirement to field a rookie in two Friday sessions this year.