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Steiner suggests Haas weaknesses sealed Schumacher fate

Steiner suggests Haas weaknesses sealed Schumacher fate

F1 News

Steiner suggests Haas weaknesses sealed Schumacher fate

Steiner suggests Haas weaknesses sealed Schumacher fate

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has suggested weaknesses within the team led to Mick Schumacher being replaced by Nico Hulkenberg.

The former Aston Martin reserve driver makes a return to F1 after three years without a full-time seat, with Schumacher let go by Haas following two seasons with the team.

The decision has led to mixed reactions from F1 followers, with Schumacher's expensive crash bill across the season playing against him but his improvement during his fledgling career perhaps warranting more time to develop.

"The decision was made by analysing what was best for the team to go back to where we want to be," Steiner told the Beyond the Grid podcast.

"We need experience.

"We waited a long time because we weren't sure what the right thing to do was.

"In the end, we said we need somebody... a weak point was the team, over the last two years, lost a lot of momentum and we need to bring that drive back to the team with experience, people who have done that, to bring the whole team up.

"We don't have one weak point in the team, we have them all across. Not really weak but we are average in everything.

"If we don't bring in people who have done it before, it is difficult. Like with a race engineer, if we can grow our own race engineers then we can do it, but it maybe takes five years.

"So what did we do with Kevin? We brought in Mark Slade who is a very experienced race engineer."

Steiner pinpoints issues with growing 'organically internally'

Schumacher joined Haas as a rookie last year with the team writing off the season to focus primarily on the campaign that has just concluded.

That has also added to frustration from some over the treatment given to the Ferrari Academy Driver, though Steiner said: "Mick can be a good driver, he already is a good driver but he can get better.

"But how long does it take us? He is growing with us but he can not make us grow.

"So we said, how can we do that? We looked around and we knew Nico, we had a few discussions in the years before with him but it never materialised that he came to work for us. There was that respect there and he said he was on the market.

"He hasn't driven full-time for three years, that is maybe a 'can he do it?' but you look at the two races he did at the beginning of the season, he did do pretty well.

"We evaluated what was better for the team and it came out that it was better to get an experienced driver to make the team move up quicker.

"A Formula 1 team, you need to go quick otherwise you lose momentum and you stay behind.

"It is difficult to recoup if you do everything internally organically. You need things from outside and the biggest asset a team has got is the people.

"So we needed the best people we could get for the needs."

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