Nico Hülkenberg returns to Formula 1 and replaces Mick Schumacher as regular driver for the US team Haas for the new season. “I’m very happy to be taking a full-time racing seat with the Haas F1 Team in 2023,” said the 35-year-old Hulkenberg on Thursday ahead of the final Grand Prix of the season in Abu Dhabi. “I feel like I never really left Formula 1. I’m thrilled to be able to do what I love most again and want to thank Gene Haas and Günther Steiner for their trust.”
Hülkenberg was most recently a reserve driver at Aston Martin and will start his work at Haas on Tuesday during the test drives.
Haas had previously announced the separation from Schumacher at the end of the season. The decision was made “to go separate ways in the future,” Haas team boss Steiner was quoted as saying. Nevertheless, the entire team “wishes Mick all the best for the next steps on his career path”.
Mick Schumacher now has only a minimal chance of remaining as a regular driver in Formula 1 in the coming season. Should the preferred candidate of the British Williams team, US boy Logan Sargeant, also fail in Abu Dhabi on the last race weekend in Formula 2 and still not create the points for the super license as a prerequisite for the motorsport premier class, a cockpit would be free there.
“It was bumpy at times, but I’ve steadily improved, learned a lot and now I know for sure that I deserve a place in Formula 1. The topic is far from over for me. Setbacks only make you stronger,” explained Mick Schumacher.
The son of record world champion Michael Schumacher assured: “My passion burns for Formula 1 and I will fight hard to get back on the grid.”
Hulkenberg is back there. After Schumacher’s departure from Haas and Sebastian Vettel’s resignation, he is likely to be the only regular German driver in Formula 1 for 2023. At Haas he drives alongside Denmark’s Kevin Magnussen.
The 35-year-old, who was born in Emmerich, has already completed a total of 181 Formula 1 races, never making it onto the podium – a negative record in Formula 1. After his debut in 2010 in Williams, he later worked for Force India, Sauber and Renault, among others been.
The French had not given Hülkenberg a new contract at the end of 2019. Since then, Hülkenberg has kept himself in the running for a return due to strong spontaneous efforts. Most recently, the commitment of a new replacement driver instead of Hülkenberg at Aston Martin indicated an expected future commitment from the native of the Rhineland to Haas.