Haas team finally decides second F1 driver for next year
Nov.13 - Mick Schumacher and Nico Hulkenberg are currently unaware if they will be racing a Haas in 2023, according to team boss Gunther Steiner.
He half-seriously admitted in Brazil that the delay in finalising the last cockpit on next year's Formula 1 grid is because he is a "slow decider".
In truth, Steiner actually admits that he and team owner Gene Haas in fact came to a decision "in the last few days".
An announcement is expected ahead of next weekend's season finale in Abu Dhabi.
"Expect the announcement sometime next week," Steiner said. "I'm not telling you a day because then everybody will be waiting for that day. It will be coming next week."
It is obvious that Schumacher, the incumbent, and 35-year-old German veteran Hulkenberg are in a direct contest for the seat, with Steiner confirming that the team has finally made a decision.
"Yes, we are just sorting out details of what we are going to do and how we are going to do it," he said.
The RTL broadcaster and German newspaper Bild said those 'details' are about contract options beyond 2023 and the pay arrangements.
"Our driver doesn't know but I'll talk to him about what we're doing," Steiner said.
If 23-year-old Schumacher is ousted, the final possibility for a place on the 2023 grid is at Williams - but that team has already decided on Logan Sargeant.
Team boss Jost Capito insisted that the chances American Sargeant will ultimately secure the necessary F1 super license is "98 percent".
Capito, a German, is therefore sad that together with Sebastian Vettel's retirement, it is a dark moment in Germany's Formula 1 history.
"Without a German driver and without a German race, it will be difficult to maintain the interest of Germany," he said.
"It's hard to say how close we came to signing Mick," Capito added. "Logan is part of our junior academy and he deserves the seat."
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It's a business of course and in reality, you know that all parties involved already know the answer to how this plays out, but the premise of it all, makes Steiner and Gene Haas look quite the asshole.