Kevin Magnussen says he isn’t sure whether Haas should oust Mick Schumacher and instead sign axed McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo for 2023.
Amid all the Schumacher speculation and claims he is about to be dumped not only by Haas but also from Ferrari’s junior program, Dane Magnussen has been enjoying his firm contract for next season.
When asked about reports that Haas is now weighing up between Schumacher, 23, and the decade-older former grand prix winner Ricciardo for 2023, Magnussen said: “I can’t pretend that it doesn’t interest me.
“But my role in that choice is non-existent so I can only patiently wait and see who it will be,” said the 29-year-old, who has also driven for McLaren and Renault.
“For my own sake, I hope we still have a good driver in the car next year. The focus is that we score points and as a team move forward and grow in the long term,” Magnussen added at Zandvoort.
Many, however, believe his current teammate Schumacher has done enough in his second season of Formula 1 to deserve another contract – even if he struggled to keep up with Magnussen early in 2022.
“It is always difficult to talk about this sort of thing,” Magnussen said, “but it is clear that Mick is a talented driver.
“I’ve said it many times that you don’t win Formula 3 and Formula 2 without talent. Obviously you have to be in the right teams, but the cars are basically the same so you have to be the best driver that year and he did that.
“Most drivers who have won the categories on their way to Formula 1 are very good,” he insisted.
Last weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, Schumacher and Ricciardo were photographed on the grid chatting together – with the German driver revealing afterwards that he told his Australian driver that he “felt sorry for his situation”.
Indeed, Ricciardo has been bought out of his solid 2023 contract at McLaren for a reported $12 million and now faces a potential sabbatical next year.
When asked if Haas should rescue Ricciardo’s career, Magnussen said: “I have no idea if Daniel can make the team better.
“From the outside I’ve always seen him as a driver who was extremely good, but it’s hard to judge in reality. How much of it was a good car and how much of it was him?
“But he raced against Max and did well and I’m quite convinced that Max is as good as he looks,” Magnussen smiled.
“I’d also like to believe that if Max was put in a Haas, there would be things that he couldn’t do. At least to begin with.”