The Formula 1 Drivers’ market is currently flourishing with all sorts of speculations as the current racing season is coming to an end with only six races left in the calendar. The giant ripple of change-ups in the teams, which started with Sebastian Vettel‘s surprise announcement of retirement at the end of 2022 and Fernando Alonso‘s shift to Aston Martin to take Vettel’s place, has now somewhat subsided. But there is a potentially empty seat at Haas as the American team has not yet renewed their contract with Mick Schumacher, who debuted in F1 with the team two years ago.
As Haas is currently mulling over their choice of racers to take Schumacher’s place, a shocking name has come up in the F1 rumor mill, that has made many of the fans quite happy. And that is, Nico Hulkenberg. The German had a sudden exit from the pinnacle of motorsports in 2019 as his contract with Renault was terminated in favor of taking up Esteban Ocon. Ever since then, he has made many appearances in the races as a replacement driver.
As reported by German Bild, the fight for the Haas seat is now down to the two Germans–Schumacher junior and Hulkenberg. And the fans are speculating the scales are inclined towards Nico Hulkenberg due to the lack of consistently hopeful results from Mick Schumacher in his two years with the team.
Mick Schumacher has still got a lot to learn, while Haas is looking for experience
The Haas F1 team saw some drastic improvement in their results when they parted ways with Uralkali and Nikita Mazepin amidst the Ukraine-Russia war. The team decided to re-appoint Danish racer Kevin Magnussen, who was previously one of their recruits till 2020. The 29-year-old returned as a completely changed personality, and he scored Haas’ first top 5 position in many years at the season opener in Bahrain.
As Haas is now looking for options for their second seat beside Kevin Magnussen, it appears that they need someone with a lot more experience than Mick Schumacher. Although the young German has displayed some great performances in the last few races with the American team, his consistency and skills are not yet at Magnussen’s level. If Haas still decides to keep him on for the upcoming season, then 2023 will be make-or-break for his career in F1.
Previously, it was also rumored that Antonio Giovinazzi and Daniel Ricciardo were in the running for Mick Schumacher’s seat, but now the fight is down to two. If Nico Hulkenberg does take the second seat at Haas, he will make an interesting pair with Kevin Magnussen as they have not been known to be the best of friends or colleagues–with the “suck my ba***, honey” debacle of 2017.