Haas F1 team owner Gene Haas has given his thoughts on the team’s driver lineup for next year, and it seems like Mick Schumacher may not have the guaranteed seat that many had predicted. Speaking to the Associated Press, Haas was candid about the difficulties the team has faced this season and the tough decisions that must be made.
Haas began by praising Schumacher’s potential but also brought attention to the damage the driver has caused to the cars, “I think Mick has got a lot of potential, but you know he costs a fortune and he’s wrecked a lot of cars that have cost us a lot of money that we just don’t have,” he said.
Haas then discussed the circumstances under which crashing is acceptable, stating that if a driver can bring in points like Max Verstappen, the team can handle the crashes. “Now, if you bring us some points, and you are [Max] Verstappen [winning races] and you wreck cars, we’ll deal with it. But when you are in the back and you wreck cars, that’s very difficult,” he explained.
When asked about Schumacher’s future with the team, Haas remained non-committal, stating that “if he wins the next [race] he’s in [for 2023]. Somewhere in between, there is a grey area.” Haas was also critical of the team’s performance this year, highlighting the team’s need to improve and get out of their usual way of running, “We started off the year with resounding success [including fifth for Magnussen in Bahrain] and I think the middle season wasn’t too good, and we just seem to fall back into our usual way of running,” he said.
Haas’ comments may come as a surprise to some who had assumed that Schumacher’s seat was secure for next year. However, the team owner’s words suggest that the decision is still up in the air, and Schumacher will need to prove his worth if he wants to secure a seat for next year.