Gunther Steiner has backed away from reports that Haas driver Mick Schumacher has lost the support of Ferrari’s driver development ‘academy’.
The deal, which began in 2019 prior to 23-year-old Schumacher’s 2021 debut in Formula 1, is set to naturally expire at the end of this year and reports indicate that it will not be extended.
That could explain why Ferrari reserve and Formula E driver Antonio Giovinazzi has suddenly been drafted onto Haas’ Friday practice roster for Monza and Austin.
The implication is that Ferrari has switched its sights back to promoting Italian Giovinazzi – and Haas may also appreciate another experienced driver to partner Kevin Magnussen.
“My appetite for risk is not very big at the moment,” Haas team boss Gunther Steiner told RTL.
He insists, however, that he is not referring specifically to Schumacher.
“The thing is, Mick has put in some good performances, so if he can repeat them he’s a candidate to stay,” said Steiner.
He denied that Ferrari essentially picks at least one Haas driver each year, insisting he isn’t sure if the Maranello based marque and Schumacher are splitting.
“I don’t know the details,” said Steiner.
“We don’t want to be put under pressure, we want to make the right decision,” he added.
“Mick is not out of the game, but we want to be open and fair and see how the situation develops.”
As for how long that process could take, Steiner answered: “Two weeks, three weeks, four weeks – everything is possible.”
He also said Schumacher will not be judged on the basis of last weekend at Spa, where the 2022 Haas car was not competitive.
“I’m not a dreamer – the car wasn’t good enough,” said Steiner. “But when the car is good enough, then you have to score points.”