Rumours about Mick Schumacher’s future have been circulating for weeks and months. The German does not yet have a contract for the coming Formula 1 season, his performance in the coming weeks will probably be decisive, but paddock whispers in the last day or so indicate the young German’s F1 career, certainly in a Haas, could well be at an end already. A disaster for Schumacher in 2023.
As this website reported some weeks ago, another name emerged for the Mick Schumacher Haas F1 seat with American broadcaster ESPN widely reported talks were ongoing with another German driver to replace Mick Schumacher.
The contract of the 23-year-old Schumacher expires at the end of the season after two years. Haas team boss Günther Steiner stressed once again in the Singapore paddock on Thursday that the team was taking its time with a decision regarding the second driver alongside Dane Kevin Magnussen and wanted to see how Schumacher developed.
“We don’t want to make the wrong decision,” Steiner said, but this might just well be lip service.
As the 57-year-old spoke these words outside the team garage, Nico Hülkenberg happened to be sitting just a few metres away. In his role as reserve driver at Aston Martin, the veteran is also on at the Singapore circuit in Asia for this weekend. The relationship between Steiner and Hülkenberg is considered impeccable. Steiner did not comment on candidates other than his current protégé Schumacher before the race on Sunday.
Hülkenberg set to replace Mick Schumacher
It certainly appears that Nico Hülkenberg remains very likely to replace his German compatriot Mick Schumacher in the battle for the Formula 1 driver’s seat at the US racing team Haas F1.
It seems the German media is now supporting this story, as the “Bild” newspaper reports that the 35-year-old is in talks with the team about a contract for the coming season. The speculation is not new, however as this website had previously reported such a move READ MORE ON THIS STORY.
According to “Bild”, the 35-year-old is already in talks with Haas for some time now.
Further, more than a fortnight ago, the US television channel ESPN had already mentioned the experienced Hülkenberg as the hottest candidate to succeed Schumacher.
Indeed Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandok mentioned in his report on the channel that “Nico Hulkneberg would be a stop gap solution if they [Haas] think there’s somebody else down the line in 2024,” mused Karen Chandhock.
“There’s a still moving parts. The seat at Alpha Tauri, we know Gasly has a contract. Does he move on? If so who will fill that,” the Indian commentator concluded.
Only three seats are still up for grabs in next year. Besides Esteban Ocon, there is still room in the Alpine, Williams is looking for a partner for Alexander Albon, and Haas for a driver alongside Kevin Magnussen.
The Dane, who was only signed on short notice this year as a replacement for Nikita Mazepin, convinced the bosses around team boss Günther Steiner and owner Gene Haas. The 29-year-old has a secure place in the team for the coming season.
“We don’t have a clear vision yet of what we want next year. Is it speed? Is it experience? That’s why we will take the necessary time,” Steiner is quoted as saying in a report in Bild.
A decision may not be made until the Mexico GP (28-30 October), it is said.
Hülkenberg in advanced talks with Haas
If Haas focuses on the experience mentioned by Steiner, the choice will fall to Nico Hülkenberg. The Emmericher’s name has been circulating in the F1 rumour mill for several weeks.
Hülkenberg has spent nine full years in F1, most recently at the start of the current season when he replaced Sebastian Vettel, who was ill with COVID-19, as Aston Martin’s reserve driver. Another plus point for Hülkenberg is his relationship with Steiner which is considered impeccable. The hype about Schumacher sometimes disturbs the South Tyrolean or so it is said.
Steiner did not comment on candidates other than his current protégé Schumacher before the race on Sunday in Singapore. Besides the US-American Colton Herta, Antonio Giovinazzi, who drove for Alfa Romeo for two years, was also considered.
According to “Bild”, however, these two drivers are no longer in the running. “A German will also be driving in Formula 1 next season,” the newspaper specifies.
All the German media reports confirm TJ13’s understanding of the current situation known in the Singapore paddock today. It really does look like it’s curtains for Mick Schumacher’s F1 career, certainly with the Haas F1 team.