Mick Schumacher vows to ‘prove doubters wrong’ after losing Haas seat

Mick Schumacher has pledged to “prove the doubters wrong” after losing his seat at Haas for the 2023 Formula One season to Nico Hülkenberg.

The 2020 Formula Two champion, coming to the end of his second season in F1, has been involved in some costly crashes this season but scored his first points and is 16th in the drivers’ championship standings.

“It was at times bumpy but I steadily improved, learned a lot and now know for sure that I deserve a place in Formula One,” wrote Schumacher on social media. “The subject is anything but closed for me. Setbacks only make you stronger. My fire burns for Formula One and I will fight hard to return to the starting grid. PTW”

PTW, he explained later in Abu Dhabi, stands for “prove them wrong”. “PTW, it’s what I’ve been saying [for the] most part of this year,” he said. “I just felt like saying that because I think I want to prove everybody wrong who doesn’t believe in me, because I know what I can do. I’ve proven that in the junior categories, and I don’t see a reason why I can’t do that.”

Last week the Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, said Schumacher could be taken on as a reserve driver with the team, noting that he “would consider taking up this option if he does not get a race seat”.

The 23-year-old insisted he was still considering all his options for the future with the seats in F1 already decided for 2023. “I just want to put myself into a position where I know it’s going to be right for me” he said. “Whether that’s as a reserve, if that’s driving, that’s to be discussed and to be analysed. I have the people that I trust around me who I will be consulting with and then I’ll come out with some news, hopefully soon.”

Haas opted for experience over youth with the 35-year-old veteran Hülkenberg, who has started 181 F1 races without once making the podium, joining 30-year-old Danish driver Kevin Magnussen in the lineup.

“I feel like I never really left Formula One,” said Hülkenberg in a team statement ahead of Sunday’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to do what I love the most again … We have work ahead of us to be able to compete with all the other teams in the midfield, and I cannot wait to join that battle again.”

Hülkenberg, who won Le Mans 24 Hours with Porsche in 2015, last raced full-time in Formula One in 2019 with Renault and will test with Haas at Yas Marina next week.