The remaining two seats for the 2023 Formula one season are yet to be announced. Williams are parting company with Nicholas Latifi after three years where the Canadian driver has failed to impress. Haas too have Mick Schumacher out of contract this season.
Gunther Steiner has vacillated over Schumacher in recent months and his comments have varied from criticism of his young German driver to suggesting he is in the box seat to retain his drive with the Haas team.
Despite scoring his first points at the British GP this season and following that up a week later with a P6 in Austria.
Steiner playing games over Schumacher
Over the next 5 Grand Prix Schumacher failed to score and was regularly behind his team mate. This led Steiner to comment after the Italian GP, “I’ll be honest, we don’t know if Mick will stay or not.”
“He has delivered very good races in Canada, Britain and Austria. But he lacks consistency – he would have to deliver strong performances more often. We are not in a hurry regarding the driver question and Mick still has chances to show what he can do.”
More recently following the Japanese GP, Steiner appeared more bullish about his young driver. When asked whether Mick’stwo year experience with the tea stood him in good stead, Gunther replied:
Mick thrown a lifeline
“Absolutely, if you are working with somebody for two years, that’s an advantage. The incumbent has always got the advantage, it’s a home advantage,” Steiner said in Japan.
”If you can have somebody you work with for two years, it’s better than bringing somebody new in, because as I always said you don’t have the learning time.
“That’s why we brought Kevin back as well, because he was here. He was out a year, but he knew everybody, and that’s always an advantage when you start from somewhere.”
Haas “no more rookies”
Schumacher is believed to be up against Nico Hulkneberg for the Haas seat in 2023. Steiner’s other comments suggest none of the young crop of F2 drivers are in consideration
“I would say I’m done in the moment with rookies for the foreseeable future,” the Haas boss revealed in Singapore.
Haas have taken the unusual step of making an early announcement on a press conference they will hold on Thursday before the GP in Austin ahead of any other F1 events.
Mystery surrounds Haas press conference
Haas have not revealed who the participants will be which adds to the intrigue.
Given Haas are a USA sponsored team it could be they are announcing a new title sponsor for 2023. The team were forced to part company with Russian energy giant Uralkali as title sponsor following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Haas F1 were offered a sponsorship deal with Alfa Romeo as the Italian marque is set to part company with Sauber when Audi complete their deal with the Swiss based team.
However, Haas rejected the deal.
Haas sponsorship deal imminent
Haas have been funded this season by Uralkali’s advanced payment of $13m though both ex-Russian driver Nikita Mazepin and Uralkali have lodged a legal case for reimbursement claiming “wrongful terminations” of contracts.
The other main sponsor for the team is Mick Schumachers 1&1 which F1 overseers believe has been a lifeline for Haas this season.
Rumours of a big deal for Haas with a USA based company for 2023 emerged in Singapore and given the exponential growth in interest from F1 fans in the states, this could be the announcement Haas which to make.
However, the slightly mysterious announcement with no participants of a press conference in Austin leads most F1 observers to believe this will be D-Day for Mick Schumacher.
Either he or Nico Hulkenberg could be announced at the Texas Circuit of the Americas.
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Battle of the season… Rasmussen vs. Ronhaar! ⚔️
These two kept us on the edge of our seats in Round 4#F1Esports #F1 pic.twitter.com/1yh9mZz9p8
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 12, 2022