Hulkenberg urged to seek new horizons beyond Haas for ’25

Ralf Schumacher is of the opinion that Nico Hulkenberg should consider leaving the Haas F1 team, which finished last in the 2023 season, at the earliest opportunity.

Despite Hulkenberg’s commendable performance upon his Formula 1 comeback last year, he openly criticized the team for its lack of progress in development.

Yet, there seems to be a glimmer of hope with the 2024 car showing improvements, particularly in addressing the tyre degradation issues that plagued their previous season.

However, Schumacher remains skeptical about any significant improvements.

“Nothing much will change,” he expressed to Sky Deutschland. “To put it somewhat bluntly, it feels like they’ve just polished it a bit and reintroduced it to the circuit with minor modifications.”

There’s speculation that Schumacher’s harsh critique stems from the treatment his nephew, Mick, received from Gunther Steiner, the team principal, in 2022 before Mick’s departure from the team.

Ralf refutes such speculation, explaining to Bild newspaper: “I actually liked Gunther’s approach. However, the internal criticism eventually turned very personal.

“In the end, the continuous failures were detrimental for Steiner. He was afforded ample time, and Haas invested significantly, yet the outcomes were mostly disappointing. He struggled to attract quality personnel, unlike the smaller teams like Williams.

“There comes a time when the team owner has to make a decisive move,” Schumacher remarked.

At 36, Hulkenberg is already on the lookout for better prospects along the pit lane for 2025.

Schumacher believes this is a wise move.

“For Nico at Haas, his only benchmark is his teammate, and he’s already outperforming him most of the time. The challenge somewhat increased post the car update, as he couldn’t adapt as effectively as (Kevin) Magnussen,” noted the ex-F1 victor.

“He should aim to maintain his performance and then look for an exit at the earliest, as the situation at Haas is unlikely to improve.”

Ayao Komatsu, who has stepped in as the new team principal, acknowledges the importance of the upcoming ‘silly season’ in the driver market.

“It’s a significant responsibility,” he mentioned to the Dutch magazine Formule 1. “However, our priority remains to develop a competitive car.”

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