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Steiner explains choice for experience: 'Schumacher didn't let us grow'

Steiner explains choice for experience: 'Schumacher didn't let us grow'

26-11-2022 12:07 Last update: 13:45


Haas F1 has let Mick Schumacher go and swapped the young German for experienced compatriot Nico Hülkenberg. Team boss Guenther Steiner explains why it was important for the team to bet on more experience.

Changing tack at Haas

Haas seems to have completely changed tack. When the team said goodbye to Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean after 2020, Haas had full confidence in the inexperienced Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin. The German and Russian were supposed to be the talents the team could build on in the future, but after one year, the desired results did not materialise and future potential also proved disappointing.

Mazepin was forcibly replaced by Magnussen at the start of the 2022 season and partly due to the Dane's experience, the team went like a rocket in the first half of the season. In the Beyond the Grid podcast team boss Steiner explains that Haas realised that experience was more important than the future prospects Schumacher brought with him. Steiner: "Mick can become a good driver; he already is, but he can get better. How long would that take for us? Because he is driving with us, he couldn't let us grow."

Hülkenberg has already asserted his experience

So Haas looked around for more experienced drivers mid-year. Talks with Hülkenberg had taken place before, but had never resulted in a deal. Although the German had not driven an active season for three years, his experience was still enticing. Steiner: "He drove two races at the beginning of the season and that went very well for him. We evaluated it and thought about what would be the best thing to do. We made the choice of an experienced driver to grow faster."

Steiner does believe Schumacher could match his compatriot Hülkenberg in terms of speed on a good day, but Hülkenberg has shown in the past he can lead teams from the midfield a step up. Steiner: "He has it and we need it. Mick unfortunately does not have that."

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