Mick Schumacher departed Haas after one last ticking-off from the team in Abu Dhabi – for performing post-race donuts.
The German driver is being replaced by Nico Hulkenberg with immediate effect, starting with the tyre test taking place at Yas Marina this week as his more experienced compatriot immediately gets his feet under the table.
Schumacher has paid the price for a 2022 season, his second in F1, in which he was unable to make the anticipated progress, scoring points only twice – and even more significantly, costing the team a packet with a series of crashes.
He was also in the wars during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, running into the back of Nicholas Latifi on lap 39 as the duo renewed their 2021 duel at the same venue – only this time, without such dramatic ramifications.
Able to keep going despite the collision, Schumacher went on to complete his Haas swansong in 16th position – and it was afterwards that he was told off over team radio.
Not for the crash, but for pulling into a run-off area during his in-lap to execute some donuts for the amusement of the crowd.
As he spun the car around, the 23-year-old was told over team radio: “Sorry, Mick, can you stop doing donuts please. Seriously. I’m sorry, Mick, but we just can’t. Sorry.”
Pointedly, the 2020 F2 champion responded: “It’s all right. Love you too.”
— Oliver Chinyere (@Oliverdirtyb) November 20, 2022
But despite that and, more significantly, the disappointing end to his campaign and time with Haas, Schumacher paid a glowing tribute to the team that had given him his break in Formula 1.
In a social media post, he also said he remained unsure what his future will hold – despite being strongly linked with a reserve driver role at Mercedes.
“The 2022 season has come to an end and with that a chapter as well,” said Schumacher.
“I want to take this moment to thank everyone at Haas F1 for all their hard work over the last two years.
“I’ve been able to meet incredible people and have built friendships I will cherish for life.
“But I also want to thank you guys out there, my followers, friends and obviously family, for supporting me through thick and thin. You motivate me day in and day out to push further and be a better person than I was yesterday.
“I don’t know yet what next year will bring but I know I’ll work harder than ever to come back stronger and be the best version of myself.”