Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher has claimed that Haas and their team principal Guenther Steiner seem to have a personal issue with his nephew Mick Schumacher, who is set to be replaced in his seat with the team by Nico Hulkenberg for 2023.
Haas have consistently refused to comment on whether Schumacher will retain his spot for next year, and both Steiner and team owner Gene Haas have publicly criticised the driver for crashes which have cost the team as well as below-par performances.
The return of Kevin Magnussen for 2022 has brought even more scrutiny on the young German’s performances, with Magnussen securing pole position for the Brazil GP Sprint Race while Schumacher languished at the back of the field.
Reports have surfaced that Haas are preparing to name Hulkenberg as Schumacher’s replacement ahead of the season finale Abu Dhabi GP, and now his uncle and former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher has told Sky Deutschland that the issue with the team appears to be personal.
“I see it as difficult for Haas to choose Mick, otherwise they would have done it long ago,” Schumacher said in an interview with Sky Deutschland.
“I think the interaction in the team and the openness of Guenther Steiner – I’ll call it that politely – doesn’t necessarily speak positively.”
“Mick has shown that there is potential but no matter what he did, the team and Guenther Steiner were never satisfied with it. This behaviour cannot be explained with normal standards. It almost has to be something personal.”