Mick Schumacher, the Formula 1 driver, was dropped from the Haas team last year, following up on a damage bill of more than $3 million, as per Haas team principal Guenther Steiner in his soon-to-be-launched book, Surviving to Drive: A Year Inside Formula 1.
Haas had to terminate its sponsorship agreement with Uralkali, a Russian chemicals company, which was owned by Dmitry Mazepin, who has close ties to Vladimir Putin. Nikita, Dmitry’s son, was also removed from the driver roster of the team.
Two major crashes, one during the qualifying in Saudi Arabia and the other in the race in Monaco, in the first seven races put his future into doubt with the team, which was facing financial troubles. Despite scoring his career-first points at the British Grand Prix, it wasn’t enough to save Mick’s career, and a third significant crash during practice at the drenched Japanese Grand Prix sealed his fate.
Günther Steiner has revealed that the damage caused by Mick Schumacher last season cost the team $2 million.
The crash during an in-lap at Suzuka alone cost $700,000.
— Fastest Pitstop (@FastestPitStop) April 10, 2023
As per the Surviving to Drive: A Year Inside Formula 1 extracts, the third crash, which broke the chassis, resulted in damages of $700,000, taking Schumacher’s damage bill to $2 million for the year where he adamantly wrote “We lose a car after five minutes and now have to build another. I cannot have a driver who I am not confident can take a car around safely on a slow lap. It’s just f*king ridiculous. How many people could we employ with $700,000? And I have to now find that money.”
Regardless that crash caused other scandals for the Haas team and Guenther Steiner. Former Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was brought in at the last minute before the first race to replace Nikita. However, the team faced more significant problems on the track.
Despite being in his second year in Formula 1, Mick found it challenging to move beyond his inaugural campaign and become an established player in the sport.
Why did Haas part ways with Mick Schumacher?
Haas team principal, Guenther Steiner, announced that experienced driver Nico Hulkenberg will replace Mick Schumacher in Formula 1 in the 2023 season. Schumacher, who has spent two seasons with Haas, has been a challenging driver to evaluate. While he has demonstrated potential to become a solid midfield driver like Hulkenberg, it is not unreasonable that he will not be on the grid.
Schumacher’s rookie season in 2021 was hampered by substandard machinery, and he outperformed his then-teammate, Nikita Mazepin, who was not a remarkable benchmark. Nonetheless, Schumacher’s surname got him more opportunities to demonstrate his capabilities.
During the 2022 season, the German driver suffered several severe accidents, which were costly for Haas. His crashes in Saudi Arabia and Monaco were particularly noteworthy, and his post-flag incident in Japan was frowned upon by management.
Toto Wolff on Mick Schumacher:
🗣️ “I can only say that his parents did nothing wrong in the upbringing.”
🗣️ “I claim that if Michael had accompanied his son in the two Haas years, Steiner would not have dared to deal with Mick like this.”
— AnythingF1 (@AnythingF1_) April 4, 2023
The team principal Steiner was diplomatic when asked about young Schumacher and said claimed that it was difficult to answer since expectations are subjective. Nonetheless, Steiner acknowledged that the team needs to improve as a whole, not only the driver. He also admitted that Schumacher’s crashes were part of the decision, but they were not the primary factor as per Autoweek.
Despite being dropped from the team, Mick Schumacher’s potential suggests that he may have a promising future in Formula 1, and was picked up by the Mercedes AMG Petronas team as their reserve driver at the right time for this ongoing season.