Guenther Steiner and Haas have been told they would be “crazy” not to offer their 2023 seat to Mick Schumacher.
The young German has just two races of his Haas contract, and perhaps his Formula 1 career, left as a decision has still yet to be made regarding who will partner Kevin Magnussen next season.
Plenty of names have been linked, including Daniel Ricciardo, but it appears to now be a straight shoot-out between Schumacher and one of Ricciardo’s former team-mates, Nico Hulkenberg.
Team boss Steiner said no decision will be made until after the Mexico Grand Prix but as of yet, Haas remain the only team not to complete their 2023 lineup.
Hulkenberg has also been keeping his cards close to his chest and said that while it is not his decision “at the end of the day”, he is feeling “relatively optimistic.”
Plenty of former drivers have been coming out in defence of Schumacher, who is 16th in the Drivers’ standings and on a nine-race run of non-point finishes.
His uncle Ralf has suggested it may be Magnussen who loses his seat while fellow German Hans-Joachim Stuck has now said he believes Schumacher “belongs in Formula 1.”
“Unfortunately for Mick, it is still too early for Audi because they will not be there until 2026,” the 71-year-old told ServusTV, as reported by the Mirror.
“If he is not confirmed at Haas, he will no longer be in Formula 1. This is very clear. I also say very clearly that Mick belongs in Formula 1.
“A young driver sometimes has to make some mistakes, because he doesn’t know what the limit of the car is.
“Guenther Steiner was wrong to unnecessarily put Mick under pressure with useless criticism. It’s crazy to have a seat and not confirm Mick. If he gets the right car, he will be great in the future.”
The Audi link Stuck is referring to is the German car manufacturer’s newly announced partnership with Sauber but with that not set to begin until 2026, it is not a realistic option for Schumacher.
The Haas driver, who has been with the team since 2021, said he was flattered by the links but his “plan A” remained staying with his current team.
“Plan A [Haas] is the only plan that counts for me at the moment and that I want to and will pursue,” he said.
“Of course it’s nice to hear that such a large group is also looking for a German driver. But all that is still a long way off.”