German racing legend Hans-Joachim Stuck isn’t sure Mick Schumacher would have been able to keep up with countryman Nico Hulkenberg in 2023.
Hulkenberg, 35, was out of Formula 1 for three full years until he was signed by Haas to replace struggling 24-year-old German Schumacher this season.
“I can’t have a driver who I’m not sure if he knows how to safely drive the car at a slow speed,” said team boss Gunther Steiner in a reported excerpt from his new book.
He is referring to Schumacher’s crash at Suzuka last year on a non-flying lap.
“It’s just ridiculous,” said Steiner. “How many people could we employ with that $700,000?”
In total contrast, Hulkenberg has so far impressed and currently looks stronger in the 2023 car than team incumbent Kevin Magnussen.
“His performance hasn’t surprised me,” Stuck told Eurosport. “He’s doing a sensational job.”
Former F1 driver Stuck, 72, is a big supporter of Schumacher’s but he admits: “I don’t know whether Mick could also be performing like Nico.
“On the one hand it’s because he has the experience of how a car has to work and be developed. He also has racing experience that Schumacher needs to gather first.”