Grand prix

Haas confirm Nico Hulkenberg to replace Mick Schumacher for F1 2023 | F1

The American outfit are the final F1 team to confirm their roster in full for next season with Hulkenberg teaming up with Kevin Magnussen.

It marks Hulkenberg’s return to F1 having not raced in the sport as a full-time driver since 2019 with Renault.

Since then, the German has remained associated with Aston Martin (formerly Racing Point) acting as their reserve and test driver.

“I’m very happy to move into a full-time race seat with Haas F1 Team in 2023. I feel like I never really left Formula 1,” said Hulkenberg.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to do what I love the most again and want to thank Gene Haas and Günther Steiner for their trust. We have work ahead of us to be able to compete with all the other teams in the midfield, and I cannot wait to join that battle again.”

Hulkenberg has impressed on his various outings for the Silverstone-based team, deputising for Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez when they contracted coronavirus in 2020.

More importantly for Haas, he has recent F1 experience driving for Aston Martin in the first two rounds of 2022, replacing Sebastian Vettel who also had COVID-19.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said: “I’m naturally very pleased to be welcoming Nico Hulkenberg back to a full-time racing role in Formula 1. 

“The experience and knowledge base Nico brings to the team is clear to see – with nearly 200 career starts in Formula 1 – and a reputation as being a great qualifier and a solid, reliable racer. These are attributes, which when you pair them together with Kevin Magnussen’s experience, gives us a very credible and well-seasoned driver line-up which we believe will help push the team onwards up the grid.

“That’s obviously the goal and it was that ambition that has prompted Nico’s return to Formula 1 – he shares our vision and can be a key player together with the rest of the team in building on the foundations we’ve laid this year with our return to the points battle.”

Unfortunately for Schumacher, he’s set for a season on the sidelines, likely taking up a role as reserve driver for Mercedes.

Schumacher ‘very disappointed’ by decision 

Schumacher took to social media to announce his disappointment at the decision, while also vowing his intention to return to the F1 grid. 

“This is going to be my last race with Haas F1 team,” Schumacher wrote. “I don’t want to hide the fact that I am very disappointed about the decision not to renew our contract.

“Nevertheless, I would like to thank both Haas F1 and Ferrari for giving me this opportunity. Those years together have helped me to mature both technically and personally. And especially when things got difficult, I realised how much I love this sport.

“It was at times bumpy but steadily improved, learned a lot and now know for sure that I deserve a place in Formula 1. The subject is anything but closed for me. Setbacks only make you stronger. My fire burns for Formula 1 and I will fight hard to return to the starting grid.” 

Hulkenberg’s career in F1

Hulkenberg was tipped for big things after a stellar junior career, making his debut with Williams in 2010.

Even though he claimed a memorable pole at the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix, he was dropped in favour of Pastor Maldonado for the following season with Williams wanting his financial backing.

Hulkenberg returned in 2012, out-performing Paul di Resta.

His finest moment came at Interlagos, competing with the McLarens for the victory. 

Had it not been for an incident with Lewis Hamilton into Turn 1, Hulkenberg could have won for Force India that day.

After a switch to Sauber in 2013, he returned to Force India for 2014, teaming up with Sergio Perez.

While Hulkenberg was often the quicker of the two Force Indias, a top three finish eluded him.

He made the move to Renault for 2017, leading their charge for a number of seasons.

After struggling to get on level terms with big money signing Daniel Ricciardo, he was dropped for 2020.

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