Haas F1 owner says Mick Schumacher must score points to keep F1 seat for 2023

Haas Mick Schumacher 2023
TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP via Getty Images
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LAS VEGAS — The owner of Haas F1 said Mick Schumacher must score some points over the final four races of the season to show he deserves a third season in that seat for 2023.

Gene Haas said Sunday at the NASCAR race in Las Vegas that the F1 organization has spoken to other drivers about next season, but that “Mick’s future is going to be decided by Mick.”

Schumacher is the son of seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher. He’s scored 12 points through 18 races with F1 next Sunday scheduled to race at Circuit of the Americas in Texas. There are four races remaining on the F1 schedule.

“We’re just waiting. We need Mick to bring some points and we’re trying to give him as much time as possible to see what he can do,” Haas told The Associated Press. “If he wants to stay with us, he’s got to show us that he can score some more points. That’s what we are waiting for.”

The 23-year-old Schumacher is ranked 16th in the standings out of 20 full-time F1 drivers and has one less race this season than the rest of the field. He missed the second race of the season after a crash in qualifying at Saudi Arabia required a short hospital stay for the German driver.

Kevin Magnussen, who was brought back to Haas this season after his 2021 firing and a year spent racing in the United States, has 22 points and is ranked 14th in the standings.

“We started off the year with resounding success, and I think the middle season wasn’t too good, and we just seem to fall back into our usual way of running,” Haas, the American who also co-owns a NASCAR team with Tony Stewart, told the AP. “We’ve just got to get out of that. And Formula One is so tough. When I started, there was 6 seconds between the leaders and the backend and you had a 107% rule. Now we’re all within 2 seconds, so it’s gotten a lot tougher and there are no bad teams anymore.”

Schumacher’s crashes have tested the patience of Haas and the team leadership.

“In this sport, being kind of a rookie driver, the sport just doesn’t allow it – it’s just too expensive,” Haas said. “If you make any mistakes in driver selection, or strategy, or tire selection, it is costing you millions of dollars.

“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. Now, if you bring us some points, and you are (Max) Verstappen and you wreck cars, we’ll deal with it. But when you are in the back and you wreck cars, that’s very difficult.”

Asked if Schumacher has the full final four races to prove himself to Haas, the team owner said: “Well, if he wins the next one, he’s in. Somewhere in between there is a gray area.”

The drivers being mentioned to replace Schumacher include Antonio Giovinazzi and, more recently, Nico Hulkenberg, who made two starts this season as a substitute driver for Aston Martin.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
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Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.