Poor Mick Schumacher, the young German and son of Michael Schumacher will soon be ousted from Formula 1, the wheels set in motion by the return to Formula One of another German who is due to sign for the Haas F1 team.
Nico Hülkenberg says he is “relatively optimistic” about his chances of returning to the F1 grid in 2023 as a regular driver, while the German is currently in advanced discussions with the Haas team who is set to remove Mick Schumacher.
Points in each race are not possible
With the 2022 season coming to an end and most of the seats for the 2023 season already taken (only one seat remains at Haas and one at Wiliams), the American team wants to take its time before deciding whether or not to bring back Mick Schumacher.
The Haas boss has put the final nail in the coffin of Schumacher Jr., telling him that he will have to score points in the last four races of the season to be sure of retaining his seat. Obviously, the German has already failed at the first hurdle with a no-points finish in both the USA and in Mexico last weekend.
If the German wishes to remain in Formula 1, then the only seat left is at Williams, who are expected to sign the rookie American Logan Sergeant.
The return of ‘The Hulk’
At the same time, the Haas team is in talks with several potential candidates, including Germany’s Nico Hülkenberg, who appears to be the most serious contender to succeed Mick Schumacher in 2023. The driver, now aged 35, recently hinted that discussions with Haas were continuing at a pace, and that he was “optimistic” about his chances of securing the seat, although the final decision will obviously be made by the American team.
“At the end of the day it’s not my decision, it’s not my decision to make. There are still discussions, I’m relatively optimistic, but we’ll have to wait a little longer,” Hülkenberg told Servus TV.
Currently, Hülkenberg is a reserve driver for the Aston Martin team in Formula 1, but this week the British manufacturer’s team announced that Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne will join the team as a reserve driver from 2023 alongside Brazilian Felipe Drugovitch.
In its press release, Aston Martin did not indicate whether Nico Hülkenberg would retain his position in 2023, which could suggest that the German has other plans.
The move of Vandoorne has set in motion the last few jigsaw pieces that will see Daniel Ricciardo hang up his race helmet in order to secure a position at Mercedes as reserve driver.
The Australian has already confessed that he is headed toward a reserve roll next year in the hope to secure a top-line racing seat, obviously conscious that Lewis Hamilton might well step back from racing in Formula 1 relatively soon READ MORE ON THIS STORY
Still aiming for that first F1 podium
Hülkenberg has been without a permanent seat since the end of the 2019 season when he left the Renault (now Alpine) team, but the German has been able to take part in a number of Grands Prix as a reserve for the Racing Point (now Aston Martin) team in the midst of the Covid period, most recently in 2020 and more recently in 2022 when he stood in for Sebastian Vettel at the Bahrain and Saudi Arabian Grands Prix.
In his career, Nico Hülkenberg has competed in 181 Grands Prix, but has never managed to reach a single podium. No doubt the German is aiming to finally capture that accolade with the rapidly expanding British team headed by Fernando Alonso.
The German did manage a pole position in 2010 with the Williams team at the Brazilian Grand Prix that year.