Nico Hulkenberg returns to a permanent Formula 1 seat for the first time since being sacked by Renault in 2019; Mick Schumacher’s first spell in the sport ends after two seasons with Haas; The announcement completes the 2023 grille
Nico Hulkenberg will replace Mick Schumacher at Haas for the 2023 Formula 1 season, the team has confirmed.
Haas’ decision ends Schumacher’s two years in the sport, with the signing of fellow German Hulkenberg completing the grid for next season.
Schumacher, son of seven-times champion Michael, came to F1 as a top-flight Formula 2 champion, but had been under pressure this year between fights alongside Kevin Magnussen and a series of crashes – with team owner Gene Haas who even claimed it “costs a fortune”.
“I would like to thank Mick Schumacher for his contributions to the team over the past two years,” said Guenther Steiner, Haas team boss.
“Mick’s pedigree in the junior categories was well known and he continued to grow and develop as a driver during his time with Haas F1 Team, culminating in his first successes in Formula 1 earlier this season.
Watch the moment an Alfa Romeo team member steps into Mick Schumacher’s path and narrowly avoids being hit as the Haas driver enters the pits.
“While choosing to go in separate directions for the future, the entire team wishes Mick well for the next steps in his career and beyond.”
Schumacher was not mentioned in the official press release, but posted shortly after on social media: “This will be my last race with Haas.
“I will admit that I am very disappointed with the decision not to renew our contract. However, I would like to thank both Haas and Ferrari for giving me this opportunity. These years together have helped me to mature both technically and personally. And above all when things have become difficult, I understood how much I love this sport.
“It was bumpy at times, but I’ve constantly improved, learned a lot and now I know for sure that I deserve a place in Formula 1. The topic is far from closed for me. Setbacks only make you stronger .
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“My fire burns for Formula 1 and I will fight hard to get back on the starting grid.”
Schumacher then signed his tenure with “PTW,” which he said earlier this season means “Prove Them Wrong.”
Schumacher could at least stay on as reserve driver in F1. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff publicly flirted with this option last weekend, especially as the Silver Arrows are on the lookout. Wolff said that “he doesn’t hide the fact that the Schumacher family belongs to Mercedes and that we really appreciate Mick.”
Hulkenberg Seals F1 Return | “I feel like I never left”
Hulkenberg returns to a regular place for the first time since being sacked by Renault at the end of 2019, but since then the 35-year-old has competed in five races as a substitute for Aston Martin, three of which came when the team was known as Racing Point.
“I am very happy to be moving to Haas full-time in 2023. I feel like I have never really left Formula 1,” said Hülkenberg.
Who drives where in 2023?
|Red Bull||Max Verstappen||Sergio Perez|
|Ferrari||Charles Leclerc||Charles Sainz|
|Mercedes||Lewis Hamilton||George Russell|
|Alpine||Esteban Ocon||Pierre Gasley|
|McLaren||Lando Norris||Oscar Piastri|
|Alfa Romeo||Valtteri Bottas||Zhou Guanyu|
|Aston Martin||Fernando Alonso||Lance Stroll|
|Haas||Kevin Magnussen||Nico Hulkenberg|
|AlfaTauri||Yuki Tsunoda||Nyck de Vries|
|Williams||Alex Albon||Sergeant Logan|
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to do what I love most again and I want to thank Gene Haas and Günther Steiner for their trust. We have work ahead of us to be able to compete with all other teams in midfield, and I can’t see Time to join that fight again.”
Steiner added: “The experience and knowledge that Nico brings to the team is evident – with nearly 200 Formula 1 career starts – and the reputation of being a great qualifier and a solid, dependable driver.
Haas’ Mick Schumacher aquaplanes and crashes into the barrier after the end of Japanese F1 practice.
“These are attributes which, when you combine them with Kevin’s experience, give us a very credible and well seasoned driver line-up which we believe will help propel the team forward on the grid.
“That is obviously the focus and it was that ambition that drove Nico’s return to Formula 1. He shares our vision and can be a key player alongside the rest of the team to build on the foundation we have laid this year with our return to the points battle”.