Romain Grosjean does not understand Haas sacking Mick Schumacher

Michelle Foster
Romain Grosjean wearing sunglasses. Texas, March 2022.

Andretti Autosport's Romain Grosjean looks to his side whilst wearing sunglasses at the Texas Motor Speedway. Texas, March 2022.

Romain Grosjean was surprised Haas sacked Mick Schumacher, the team’s former driver saying he “would not have made that choice”.

Two years after arriving on the Formula 1 grid Schumacher’s career is over, at least for now, after Guenther Steiner made the call not to renew his contract.

Haas made it clear after the summer break they were leaning towards replacing the German, the 23-year-old recording more chassis-cracking crashes than top-ten results.

The team announced on the eve of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that the decision had been made, Schumacher out and Nico Hulkenberg in.

Grosjean was surprised as he felt Schumacher had done enough in the second part of the season to save his seat.

“Personally, I would not have made that choice,” he said on his YouTube channel.

“Mick Schumacher had a great end to the season. There wasn’t really any reason to replace him.

“Still, the team wanted another driver and that’s why they contacted Nico Hulkenberg.”

Nico Hulkenberg is talented but…

As for Hulkenberg, while the former Haas driver believes the 35-year-old is talented, his reiterated that dropping Schumacher was not a decision he would have made.

“In the past he has shown often enough to work hard,” he said. “In 2007 Nico and I were team-mates in Formula 3. Two years later we were racing against each other in GP2.

“He has a lot of talent, so let’s see what he can do at Haas.

“But again, I would not have made that choice.”

Hulkenberg will line up on the 2023 grid determined to swap his record for the most races without a podium, 181, for the most races before a first podium. That record currently belongs to Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.

Curious about AlphaTauri’s driver change

The Frenchman also weighed in on AlphaTauri, another team with a new line-up with Pierre Gasly heading to Alpine and Nyck de Vries at 28 preparing for his debut campaign.

The Dutchman impressed many in the paddock when he filled in for Alex Albon at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix, scoring points on his Williams debut.

But while Helmut Marko reckons De Vries with his experience in other series could be AlphaTauri’s team leader, Grosjean says that will be Tsunoda.

“Yuki is now the leader,” Grosjean continued. “He now has the F1 experience. So he has to take a step and claim that role as leader for himself.

“Then we have Nyck de Vries. He is Formula E champion, Formula 2 champion, his path to F1 is not very logical, but he certainly deserves a place in the premier class. He is very talented.

“I’m curious to see how that turns out. Yuki will lead the team with his experience, while Nyck must first explore things and then act as a kind of co-leader.”

Read more: Mick Schumacher on F1’s lack of patience: I can only speak from my own experience