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Mick Schumacher’s future at Haas appears to be hanging by a thread after team boss Gunther Steiner confirmed he was in talks with potential replacement Nico Hulkengerg. Schumacher’s place with the American team has been the subject of much speculation, following an underwhelming first two seasons in F1.
After he and partner Nikita Mazepin failed to land a single point in the 2021 campaign, hopes were high the team could be more competitive this season with the overhaul in rules. The Russian was axed on the eve of the campaign amid his country’s invasion of Ukraine, with Kevin Magnusson brought in to partner Schumacher.
And the Dane has largely outshone the 23-year-old, who was forced to miss the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix after a damaging crash in qualifying. He also careered off the track at the last race in Japan, meaning further repair costs for Steiner and co in a season where the budget cap has been reduced.
He did notch his first ever points finish at the British Grand Prix in July, followed by a career high finish of sixth in Austria the same month. But early retirements in Italy and Canada have added to the doubt around his future, with Steiner repeatedly refusing to offer public assurances.
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Daniel Ricciardo, who is being released by McLaren at the conclusion of this season, has been touted as the man to replace him. But with the Australian having ruled himself out of an F1 return until 2023 at the earliest, Steiner has now confirmed that talks are underway with Hulkenberg.
“I have indeed spoken to him,” he told TV station German RTL. “I have known Nico for a long time, and much better than I know Daniel [Ricciardo]. We have talked, but nothing has been decided yet.”
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Hulkenberg, 35, raced in F1 from 2010-2019, representing Williams, Force India, Sauber, and Renault. He appeared as a replacement driver for Racing Point in the 2020 campaign, and is currently a reserve driver at Aston Martin.
In 181 race starts, he has never notched a podium finish. In 2015 however, he famously won the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans race on his first attempt.
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