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ANALYSIS: What next for Mick Schumacher after losing his spot on the F1 grid? | Formula 1®

There have been excessive – maybe unrealistic – expectations of Mick Schumacher when he adopted his seven-time world champion father Michael’s footsteps and made his F1 debut in 2021. But after two seasons with Haas, his time on the grid has come to an finish – at the very least for now. So the place did it go flawed, and is that this the final we’ll see of the German?

The grid for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix made for deeply uncomfortable studying for the Schumacher household. As Kevin Magnussen delivered one of many all-time nice F1 shocks to take his and the American staff’s first pole place in moist situations, on the different finish of the size, Schumacher was slowest of all as Haas bookended the classification.

ANALYSIS: Why Haas split with Schumacher, how Hulkenberg got the nod – and why Steiner isn’t worried about tension with Magnussen

This end result was not a good reflection of how Schumacher carried out relative to his extra skilled Danish staff mate over the course of this yr, but it surely highlighted one of many German’s largest deficiencies at this stage of his profession.

After strong opening runs at Interlagos, the place Schumacher confirmed the tempo to get to Q3, the Haas duo each had time for one prep lap adopted by a push. Magnussen obtained the job accomplished below stress – and Schumacher didn’t.

While the incident didn’t verify Schumacher’s subsequent dropping from Haas, it was an instance as to why boss Guenther Steiner along with proprietor Gene Haas had come to the choice.


Schumacher certified in twentieth in Brazil whereas staff mate Kevin Magnussen began from pole

Schumacher is a reliable driver. His factors finishes in Austria and Silverstone proved that he might ship. But they have been flashes in an in any other case frustratingly inconsistent run of performances.

When you’re racing for a staff like Haas, which at present strives for consistency however in actuality has a handful of weekends the place they’re aggressive for factors, you might have to have the ability to ship when it counts.

BEYOND THE GRID: Guenther Steiner on Haas’s decision to drop Schumacher and give Hulkenberg another F1 shot

Schumacher’s gradual adaptation to the 2022 automobiles sharpened his ache this yr. While Magnussen scored on his shock return as a substitute for Nikita Mazepin and clocked up 15 factors within the first seven races, benefiting from when Haas have been at their best in 2022, Schumacher failed to attain and suffered two huge crashes in the identical run.

Those two shunts not solely broken Schumacher’s pleasure and confidence, however they left Haas with a giant invoice and dampened their perception that Schumacher was a driver that featured of their future past the tip of the season.

2022 Saudi Arabian GP Qualifying: Mick Schumacher crashes closely in Q2

It was unlucky for Schumacher that on the weekends the place he was the stronger of the 2 drivers, the automotive wasn’t able to scoring factors.

While he was thrashed within the qualifying head-to-head, dropping 16-6, he completed forward 11 occasions to Magnussen’s six in Grands Prix they each noticed the flag. And he spent extra laps forward – 566 versus 462. But that’s the way in which it goes in Formula 1.

READ MORE: ‘I definitely want to stick around’ – Schumacher not giving up hope of F1 return after Haas exit

And in an in depth midfield the place the ultimate championship place is so essential contemplating the prize cash that’s connected, it’s factors that Haas crave – and that’s why they’ve dropped Schumacher in favour of bringing again Nico Hulkenberg subsequent season.

Formula 1 is maybe essentially the most aggressive its been in years – with the extent of final expertise excessive and that has meant Schumacher has been squeezed out for a berth on the grid subsequent yr, whereas in earlier years, he would doubtless have discovered one other season someplace.


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Schumacher led the way in which within the head-to-head battle between he and Magnussen on race day

So what subsequent?

Is it the tip of the street for him in F1? Well, not fairly. There’s a real alternative to affix Mercedes subsequent yr as their reserve. Sure, it’s not racing – and could possibly be seen as a backwards step.

But Schumacher has proven that he has the potential to be Grand Prix driver, he simply wants assist honing that expertise. The Mercedes junior programme can just do that, having produced now race winners Esteban Ocon and George Russell lately.

READ MORE: Wolff says Mick Schumacher ‘close to our heart’ as he opens up on possibility of Mercedes reserve role

Mercedes have an affinity with the Schumacher household, having run Michael on his second stint in F1 together with his brother Ralf contesting DTM for the Silver Arrows. Mick’s persona would go well with the Mercedes model, too.

That’s why there are discussions concerning the two becoming a member of forces for subsequent yr, boss Toto Wolff having stated they’d be eager to “look after” Schumacher after his departure from Haas.


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Schumacher might observe the same path to Esteban Ocon, who was part of the Mercedes junior programme

They are looking out for a reserve after Nyck de Vries signed with AlphaTauri to make his full-time debut subsequent yr, whereas Stoffel Vandoorne has switched to Aston Martin as their reserve.

Schumacher brings with him loads of expertise driving the new-for-2022 automobiles and can profit massively from the prospect to drive race-winning equipment (in a testing capability) that can be much more predictable and forgiving than the Haas he has skilled over the past couple of years.

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While the ache of being dropped will linger for some time, Schumacher is already exhibiting indicators of being pragmatic about his scenario.

If he makes use of the defeat as a supply of motivation – as Pierre Gasly did when he was demoted from Red Bull to Toro Rosso or as Ocon did when he misplaced his Racing Point seat earlier than returning with Renault after yr out – it might nearly be a blessing in disguise.

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