Mick Schumacher no longer has a seat on the F1 grid. As Nico Hulkenberg takes over at Haas, Schumacher is left without a drive for 2023.
In a statement released on Twitter, Mick addresses the news that he will no longer drive for Haas.
“This is going to be my last race with Haas F1 Team. I don’t want to hide that I am very disappointed about the decision not to renew our contract,” he stated. “Nevertheless, I would like to thank Haas F1 and Ferrari for giving me this opportunity. Those years together have helped me to mature both technically and personally. And especially when things got difficult, I realized how much I love this sport.”
The German driver drove for Haas in 2021 and 2022. This year was the first time Mick had an experienced teammate to compete with, joining as rookies with Nikita Mazepin in 2021.
2022 was always going to serve as a crucial test for Schumacher, with Kevin Magnussen carrying a solid reputation in Formula 1. The Dane spent years driving for Haas, and his experience allowed him to jump straight into the car. The additional development time from the 10th place finish in 2021 would generate a competitive car for Mick to showcase his level.
However, Schumacher has failed to finish three races this year, along with several crashes during practice and qualifying sessions. This year, his incident at the Monaco Grand Prix cost the Haas team a pretty penny. The combination of poor results and a large repair bill was ultimately his undoing.
Could Mick have saved his seat?
Mick’s seat became warmer as the season progressed. After leaving the grid for a year, Kevin Magnussen delivered P6 in his first race. He was able to jump straight into the car and provide promising results. And Schumacher was able to find his moments this season. One of his highlights was battling Lewis Hamilton in the Sprint Race in Austria. He finished 6th place, his highest place all season.
Then in Brazil, Magnussen was able to secure pole position, partially thanks to a well-timed red flag in the middle of qualifying. In an interview with Motorsport, Steiner said not even a great result would have changed Mick’s fortunes.
“Nothing would have changed. Because you cannot make this decision on an emotional one race or one qualifying result, that would be wrong, it could be wrong both ways.”
Mick’s time to turn around his fortunes had run out. It appears Haas was dead set on replacing Schumacher. Mick is left with a few options to return to F1 in the future.
Logan Sargeant’s Failure
A lot is riding on the F2 race this year. Logan Sargeant must finish in at least 6th in the F2 Championship to qualify for a Super License. Williams have promised Logan the drive for next year if he secures the Super License. Should Logan fail to meet the requirements, Jost Capito claims to have a backup plan. Capito told Motorsport-Magazin.
“If it doesn’t work out with the SuperLicense [for Sargeant], everyone who has experience and a SuperLicense is an option.”
Mick Schumacher could step into the picture as he has a SuperLicense and experience. While it remains a long shot that Logan does not qualify for a Super License, it is Mick’s best chance to immediately re-enter the grid.
Funny enough, the man who will replace Mick at Haas, Nico Hulkenberg, laid out a blueprint for Mick to return. Nico was the reserve driver at Aston Martin for the past few years, stepping in for Vettel two the first two races this season. He stayed involved in the paddock and continued to do simulator work. This gave Hulkenberg time to recharge his batteries while remaining connected to the sport.
And there are a few high-profile chances to replicate that path. According to sources, the German outfit Mercedes is rumored to be interested in giving Mick Schumacher their reserve driver role.
Could Mick Schumacher swap Haas for Mercedes? 🤔
🗣️ Toto Wolff: “I don’t know what the status is with Mick and Haas. But I make no secret of the fact that the Schumacher family belongs to Mercedes and that we value Mick very much.”
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) November 15, 2022
With reports that his connection with the Ferrari Driver Academy is ending, he can switch over to the Mercedes family to maintain his involvement in the sport. The team has a long connection with the Schumacher family. However, Ferrari could renew their ties to Schumacher and potentially offer him a reserve driver role, replacing Antonio Giovinazzi.
Nyck de Vries showcased how valuable the reserve driver role could be earlier this year. He stepped in for Alex Albon at Monza and scored points in a Williams. This performance led to his stock rising quickly and eventually earning his seat at AlphaTauri. A similar opportunity could present itself if Mick stays around the paddock in a reserve role. The simulator work and waiting around the sport will help him be ready should the opportunity arise.
Plenty of options for Schumacher as he ends his time at Haas and looks to rebuild his F1 career.