Schumacher out, Hulkenberg in for Kannapolis-based Haas F1 Team
Schumacher says on social media that he is “very disappointed” with decision
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (WBTV) - In moves announced on Thursday morning, the Kannapolis-based Haas F1 Team is parting ways with driver Mick Schumacher, and has signed Germany’s Nico Hülkenberg to contest the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship alongside Denmark’s Kevin Magnussen.
“This is going to be my last race with Haas F1 Team,” Schumacher said on Twitter. “I don’t want to hide the fact that I am very disappointed about the decision not to renew our contract. Nevertheless I would like to thank both Haas F1 Team and Ferrari for giving me this opportunity. These years together have helped me to mature both technically and personally. And especially when things got difficult I realized how much I love this sport.”
“It was at time bumpy, but I steadily improved, learned a lot, and know now for sure that I deserve a place in Formula One” Schumacher wrote. “The subject is anything but closed for me. Setbacks only make you stronger. My fire burns for Formula One and I will fight hard to return to the starting grid.”
In a press release, Haas F1 noted that Schumacher, the son for former seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, joined the American team in December 2020 having won the Formula 2 Championship that year. Over two full seasons competing in Formula 1 Schumacher has scored a best result of sixth place for Haas F1 Team – his points haul coming in the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring, one week after collecting his maiden points for an eighth-place finish at the 2022 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Schumacher currently sits 16th overall in the 2022 Drivers’ Standings on 12 points.
“I would like to thank Mick Schumacher for his contribution to the team over the past couple of years,” stated Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team. “Mick’s pedigree in the junior categories was well known and he has continued to grow and develop as a driver in his time with Haas F1 Team – culminating in his first Formula 1 points-scoring successes earlier this season. While choosing to go in separate directions for the future the entire team wishes Mick well for the next steps in his career path and beyond.”
Hülkenberg, 35, is a Formula 1 veteran with 181 career starts and a 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans race winner with Porsche, makes his full-time return to the sport next year with the American squad having spent the past two seasons in the role of reserve driver for the Aston Martin F1 Team.
Hülkenberg was active in the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship standing in for Sebastian Vettel at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix and again at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, but the Emmerich-born racer made his first Formula 1 start back in 2010 debuting for Williams at the Bahrain Grand Prix following a stellar junior career. A champion in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport with A1 Team Germany in 2006-07, Hülkenberg then won the 2008 Formula 3 Euro Series followed by the 2009 GP2 Series (now known as the FIA Formula 2 Championship) – prompting a swift graduation into Formula 1 for 2010.
Having raced for Williams, Force India, Sauber, Renault, Racing Point and Aston Martin, Hülkenberg has amassed 521 career points in Formula 1 – including one pole position (Brazil 2010), two fastest laps and a best-finish of fourth three times. The German holds a qualifying resume which includes 94 Q3 appearances. A career high of seventh place in the Driver Standings came with Renault back in the 2018 season.
“I’m naturally very pleased to be welcoming Nico Hülkenberg back to a full-time racing role in Formula 1,” commented Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team. “The experience and knowledge base Nico brings to the team is clear to see – with nearly 200 career starts in Formula 1 – and a reputation as being a great qualifier and a solid, reliable racer. These are attributes, which when you pair them together with Kevin Magnussen’s experience, gives us a very credible and well-seasoned driver line-up which we believe will help push the team onwards up the grid. That’s obviously the goal and it was that ambition that has prompted Nico’s return to Formula 1 – he shares our vision and can be a key player together with the rest of the team in building on the foundations we’ve laid this year with our return to the points battle.”
“I’m very happy to move into a full-time race seat with Haas F1 Team in 2023,” stated Nico Hülkenberg. “I feel like I never really left Formula 1. I’m excited to have the opportunity to do what I love the most again and want to thank Gene Haas and Günther Steiner for their trust. We have work ahead of us to be able to compete with all the other teams in the midfield, and I cannot wait to join that battle again.”
Hülkenberg will start work for Haas F1 Team on Tuesday 22nd November participating in the end of season Formula 1 test hosted in Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit – Hülkenberg piloting this season’s VF-22 alongside the team’s test and reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi in the second car.
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