Formula 1 team Haas has announced it is parting ways with Mick Schumacher, the son of seven-time champion Michael Schumacher.
The German joined Haas for 2021 to race alongside Nikita Mazepin, Schumacher having won the F2 championship the previous year.
This year, alongside Kevin Magnussen, Schumacher scored his first points at Silverstone with eighth, following that up with sixth at the following race in Austria.
However, he has failed to score since then, and has contributed less than a third of Haas’s total points tally – with the American squad eighth in the constructors’ championship. He has also had several crashes which have proved to be costly.
“I would like to thank Mick Schumacher for his contribution to the team over the past couple of years,” Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said in a statement.
“Mick’s pedigree in the junior categories was well known and he has continued to grow and develop as a driver in his time with Haas F1 Team — culminating in his first Formula 1 points-scoring successes earlier this season. While choosing to go in separate directions for the future the entire team wishes Mick well for the next steps in his career path and beyond.”
The announcement regarding the last undecided seat on F1’s 2023 grid was hardly a surprise as Gene Haas told The Associated Press in October that Schumacher needed to score points in the final four races of the season to keep his job.
“Mick’s future is going to be decided by Mick. If he wants to stay with us, he’s got to show us that he can score some more points. That’s what we are waiting for,” Haas told The AP. “I think Mick has got a lot of potential, but you know he costs a fortune and he’s wrecked a lot of cars that have cost us a lot of money that we just don’t have.
“Now, if you bring us some points, and you are (Max) Verstappen and you wreck cars, we’ll deal with it. But when you are in the back and you wreck cars, that’s very difficult.”
Haas later confirmed that Schumacher’s replacement would be former Force India and Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg.
Williams have the only remaining seat on the grid for 2023, but that will go to their academy driver Logan Sargeant providing he finishes in the top six in the standings in F2. The American is currently third and in good shape to meet the criteria.
Minutes after the announcement was made, Schumacher tweeted that he was disappointed with the decision but hoped to soon return to Formula 1.
“This is going to be my last race with Haas F1 Team. I don’t want to hide the fact that I am very disappointed about the decision not to renew our contract,” he wrote.
“Nevertheless, I would like to thank both 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 realised how much I love this sport.
“It was at times bumpy but I steadily improved, learned a lot and now know for sure that I deserve a place in Formula 1. The subject is anything but closed for me. Setbacks only make you stronger.
“My fire burns for Formula 1 and I will fight hard to return to the starting grid.”