Nico Hulkenberg urged to leave after damning verdict on Haas’ VF-24

Michelle Foster
Nico Hulkenberg speaking with Haas owner Gene Haas

Ralf Schumacher has urged Nico Hulkenberg to leave Haas

Although Nico Hulkenberg qualified inside the top ten in Bahrain, Ralf Schumacher has urged him to “get out” of Haas as they “just dusted off the car and took it out again”.

Hulkenberg will start the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix from 10th place on the grid as the German impressed over a single flying lap.

That, though, was the story of his 2023 championship.

‘They just dusted off the car and took it out again’

Last year Hulkenberg made eight Q3 appearances and nine times made it into Q2, and yet he scored a measly nine points as his VF-23, and the B-spec version of the car, ate its tyres.

Schumacher fears 2024 will be more of the same.

“They just dusted off the car and took it out again,” quotes the Sky Deutschland presenter as having said.

“The best technician is of no use as long as the boss doesn’t understand that it can’t continue like this.

“They commission other people to make something for them. That will never be enough to be at the front, and I see that as a problem.”

He urged Hulkenberg to leave Haas as soon as possible.

“He has to get out of there as quickly as possible!” Schumacher stated. “Because it won’t work.

“He can only show that he is better than his team-mate, which was the case most of the time. That was the case at the end of last year, including in qualifying, a little more difficult because he couldn’t handle the update as well as Magnussen.” recommends

F1 2024: Head-to-head qualifying record between team-mates

Nico Hulkenberg ‘confident’ of points finish in Bahrain

Hulkenberg, though, has a more positive stance on Haas’ potential in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Having spent Thursday’s opening practice hour focusing solely on race runs, he told the media including’s Thomas Maher: “I think the consistency in the long runs, how the aero characteristic is of the car, I feel it is more consistent, it’s better, it feels like a wider operating window, which obviously is nicer and better for the tyres.”

But whether that will translate to points remains to be seen.

“I mean I’m not like 100 per cent we’ll get this, but as confident as you can be,” he said.

“It’s the first race, I’m excited, I’m ready for it, I feel prepared and very hungry to go racing. We will obviously put everything into it. But I know it’s going be a challenge and a tough fight.”

Read next: Winners and losers from 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying