The Haas F1 team seems to want to keep Schumacher
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Ferrari prodigy Mick Schumacher has an advantage over other contenders for the Haas F1 racing seat in 2023, admitted Haas team principal Gunther Steiner.
After Team USA failed to score a single point with rookies Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin last year, Steiner also insists Haas is “done with rookies for the foreseeable future.”
And it is a strong indication that, on the negotiating table, Schumacher is fighting against very experienced candidates, including Nico Hulkenberg and even Daniel Ricciardo. McLaren’s Ricciardo, however, is said to be much closer to signing a deal to be Mercedes’ reserve driver next year.
“It’s not like there’s a problem,” Ricciardo said at Suzuka, site of the F1 Japanese Grand Prix this weekend. “It’s more about taking the time to figure out what’s ultimately the best thing for me next year. There’s no rush or pressure or anything to quickly sign something and be done with it. .”
The comments from Ricciardo, 33, would appear to align with Haas and Williams’ stance of potentially waiting until the end of the season to name their second drivers for 2023.
“It’s not like we’re sitting around doing nothing,” Steiner said of Haas. “But we have the rare opportunity to see it all in peace.”
German media reported last week that Schumacher’s talks over a potential deal with Haas in 2023 had begun in earnest in Singapore. Steiner said the son of F1 legend Michael Schumacher was still in the frame.
“If you can get someone you’ve worked with for two years, that’s always better than bringing in someone new,” Steiner said. “Mick didn’t get his points by luck but by performance. I’ve always said that. Points are the result of development.”
When asked if he and team owner Gene Haas would be ready to complete next year’s driver line-up ahead of the season finale in Abu Dhabi, Steiner said: “I hope.
“I have no joy in giving you an answer you don’t like. ‘I don’t know’ is the answer. I don’t like giving that answer and I’m not trying to be rude.”