Haas: Schumacher must score points to keep F1 seat in 2023

LAS VEGAS (AP) — 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.

Gene Haas said Sunday at the NASCAR race in Las Vegas that the F1 organization has spoken to other drivers about 2023 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 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.

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More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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