Mick Schumacher drives his father’s Ferrari F2003-GA
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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has acknowledged Mick Schumacher felt the pressure of performing in his dad’s shadow before being fired by the Formula 1 outfit earlier this month. The only son of F1 legend Michael Schumacher has long been tipped to make an impact in the sport but is now left without a seat ahead of the 2023 campaign.
Schumacher, 23, showed considerable improvement this year and secured his first top-10 finishes in F1 after an error-strewn debut season in 2021. However, several notable crashes throughout the campaign damaged his hopes of landing an extension with Haas.
The American manufacturer has instead opted to bring Nico Hulkenberg back into their ranks, and Steiner conceded he himself felt the pressure that came with cutting a member of the Schumacher lineage. Likewise, he noted Schumacher suffered from the strain of his surname.
“If I said I didn’t feel any pressure, that would be a complete lie,” said Steiner. “As Mick felt it, so do we. First and foremost, of course, it’s about our team. That belongs to Mr. Haas and I have to work for him, so I can’t work for everyone else. And for me, Mick is just Mick. I respect the Schumacher name, but you can’t score points with me.”
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The Swiss-born star finished 16th overall this past season after accumulating just 12 points, while team-maet Kevin Magnussen finished 13th having amassed 25 points of his own. Steiner went on to concede Schumacher’s famous family ties weren’t always for the positive, both for him personally and the team as a whole.
“It definitely got a lot of media attention,” added the Italian. “I don’t know if it did anything financially. It certainly didn’t do any harm, but it didn’t happen that we got rich from it.
“On the contrary; it is a blessing and a curse. It took a lot of energy and sometimes also brought a lot of pressure. Just like it’s a blessing and a curse for Mick.”
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The driver line-up for the 2023 season has been confirmed, leaving no room for Schumacher to return next year in a starting role. The driver said he was “very disappointed” with the decision not to renew his contract for 2023 but said he would “fight hard” for an F1 return.
A graduate of Ferrari’s driver academy, Schumacher has in the past been linked with a move to the team for whom his father won five of his joint-record seven world titles. However, there is a possibility his 16th-place finish after crashing in Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix may end up being his final result in the sport.
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