Hulkenberg defends Schumacher after Abu Dhabi GP ahead of F1 exit

Mick Schumacher drives his father’s Ferrari F2003-GA

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Nico Hulkenburg issued his support to Mick Schumacher, the driver he is replacing at Haas, following his crash at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The young German’s second season in F1 came to a disappointing end after colliding with Nicolas Latifi in the final race of the 2022 season.

The 23-year-old was slapped with a five-second time penalty for causing a collision, finishing the grand prix P16 while Latifi retired shortly after. It compounded another underwhelming season in F1 for Schumacher, as he scored points in just two races this year and finished 16th in the drivers standings with a mediocre 12 points.

The stewards placed the blame on the son of F1 legend Michael Schuamcher, but Hulkenberg, who will replace the youngster from next season, leapt to the defence of the star, and claimed Latifi was responsible for the incident. “You also have to say that the ‘Goatifi’ also drives a strange line at the entrance,” he told ServusTV.

“Drives very far and then pulls in and I don’t think Mick really wanted it, it was somehow funny. It can happen, but now there are no more teeth breaking out of the crown or changing anything.”

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Schumacher, who now has two points on his super licence following the collision, explained how the incident occurred. “I mean, in general these cars are very… You don’t really have a great overview of what’s happening around,” he said as per Motorsport.com.

“I mean the car, the tyres are super high, and that steering wheel in your face, so to speak. I think he misbraked a bit and went a long way and then got back on track which I wasn’t expecting. I just didn’t see him. It was so frustrating. Not the best race.”

After losing his seat at Haas to Hulkenberg, Schumacher’s motor racing future is currently unclear. Despite just scoring 12 points this season, his contribution helped Haas finish P8 in the constructors standings.

The total tally of 37 points is a massive improvement from failing to score any points in 2021 and were rooted to the bottom of the standings as a result. Schumacher is delighted with the improvements the team made this season and added: “That was of course our goal. So everything’s okay.

“We’re now looking to the future and hopefully to better days,” said the Haas driver. “But I’m happy for the team because [P8 in the championship] means a completely different budget and I’m sure they can use it.”

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