Mick Schumacher has no intention of listening to Bernie Ecclestone’s advice to walk away from F1, the driver saying he wants to stay on the grid and that’s that.
Schumacher’s place on next year’s grid is under threat, with Haas weighing up continuing with the German or replacing him with compatriot Nico Hulkenberg.
It has been said the team are leaning towards the latter as this season Schumacher has recorded more big crashes, three, than top-10 results, that’s only two.
Those are the only two points-scoring Sundays of his F1 career, the driver unable to get off the mark last season.
With rumours doing the rounds he could learn his fate at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix weekend, former F1 chief Ecclestone shared his thoughts.
“Maybe he needs to forget F1 and focus on other motorsport series,” the former F1 supremo told RTL.
“His name is his biggest burden, but he is trying to live up to it as best he can. And that’s what brings him all the problems.
“That’s why: forget about it and win in another category.”
Schumacher has no intention of doing that.
Declaring to Bild his plan “is to keep going”, the 23-year-old added: “It’s hard to forget Formula 1. I love it too much so I won’t do that.
“Everyone always has an opinion on everything. I care about the opinions of the people I care about.”
He made it abundantly clear Ecclestone’s name is not on the list of those he is open to listening to.
“Of course my family,” he said of the short-list. “And a few other people from Formula 1.
“For example, Sebastian Vettel. Those are the opinions that matter to me.”
German pundits back Schumacher to continue in F1
Haas is Schumacher’s only real option for a spot on next year’s grid.
Although Williams also have a seat open, the Grove team expect to put Logan Sargeant in the car and will only consider Schumacher if the American Formula 2 driver fails to secure the necessary Super Licence points.
Sargeant, though, is P3 in the standings and only needs an eighth-place finish overall to acquire the points needed.
Former German F1 driver Christian Danner is hoping Schumacher is able to remain in Formula 1, refuting Ecclestone’s claim his surname hurts him.
“Throughout his career,” he said, “Mick has shown he is a very good racing driver who can also live with his name without any problems.”
Meanwhile, former Mercedes boss Norbert Haug is confident the driver will not throw in the towel.
“Forgetting, giving up and voluntarily giving in are not in Schumacher’s genes,” he said. “Mick belongs in Formula 1 – no ifs or buts.”
Haas’ post-season Abu Dhabi deadline
Although it was speculated Haas would announce their 2023 line-up in Brazil, team boss Guenther Steiner is not ready to do so.
He has said it could come “next week”, but even that is not a firm deadline.
What is, is the post-season Abu Dhabi test.
“We want to have the driver who will be with us next year at the Abu Dhabi test,” he reiterated in Sao Paulo. “That’s the only thing we want to do.
“The rest is to try to make the best decision possible and time helps to make good decisions.”