Mazepin not the ideal teammate this year for Schumacher?
As for Schumacher's 2021 progress, Hulkenberg told RTL: "It's not an easy year for him, but I think his learning curve is really steep and steady.
"He's doing a really good job."
Team boss Frederic Vasseur admits Kimi Raikkonen's future is unclear, but he stopped short of endorsing former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone's claim that an Alfa Romeo seat is on the cards for Schumacher in 2022.
"Maybe he knows more than I do," Vasseur quipped, according to Ilta Sanomat newspaper.
According to Hulkenberg, another problem in 2021 for Schumacher is his Haas teammate and fellow rookie Mazepin.
"He (Schumacher) is obviously driving a car that is not very competitive, which is of course not easy, especially as a rookie," he said.
"There is just so much happening around you - so many things to learn," said Hulkenberg.
"And in a car that is not competitive, you're lapped every race. You're actually only fighting against your teammate."
When asked about controversial Russian rookie Mazepin, Hulkenberg said: "From a sporting point of view, I don't think he's the best yardstick.
"Perhaps his character is a challenge as well, because you can tell already that there is a bit of friction between the two of them.
"There have also been a couple of unfair racing situations but sometimes that's just part of it," he added.
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