Hulkenberg to replace Schumacher as Haas complete 2023 F1 grid

Nico Hulkenberg returns to a permanent Formula 1 seat for the first time since being let go by Renault in 2019; Mick Schumacher’s first spell in the sport ends after two seasons with Haas; the announcement completes the 2023 grid

Last Updated: 17/11/22 6:08am

Nico Hulkenberg will replace Mick Schumacher at Haas for the 2023 Formula 1 season, the team have confirmed.

Haas’ decision brings to an end Schumacher’s two-year spell in the sport, with fellow German Hulkenberg’s signing completing the grid for next season.

Schumacher, the son of F1 seven-time champion Michael, had shown flashes of potential in his rookie year after winning the Formula 2 title, but had been under pressure this year amid struggles alongside Kevin Magnussen and a run of crashes – with team owner Gene Haas even stating he “costs a fortune”.

“I would like to thank Mick Schumacher for his contribution to the team over the past couple of years,” said Haas team boss Guenther Steiner.

“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.”

Schumacher was not quoted in the official press release, but posted shortly after on Instagram: “This is going to be my last race with Haas.

“I don’t want to hide the fact that I am very disappointed about the decision not to renew our contract. Nevertheless, I would like to thank both Haas and Ferrari for giving me this opportunity. Those years together have helped me 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.”

Schumacher then signed off his note with ‘PTW’, which he said earlier this season means ‘Prove Them Wrong’.

Schumacher could at least remain as a reserve driver in F1. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff flirted publicly with this option last weekend – especially since the Silver Arrows are on the lookout. Wolff said he “makes no secret of the fact that the Schumacher family belongs to Mercedes and that we appreciate Mick very much.”

Hulkenberg returns to a permanent seat for the first time since he was let go by Renault at the end 2019, but the 35-year-old has competed in five races since then as a stand-in for Aston Martin, three of which came when the team was known as Racing Point.

“I’m very happy to move into a full-time race seat with Haas F1 Team in 2023. I feel like I never really left Formula 1,” said Hülkenberg.

More to follow…

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