Even a pole position in F1 would not have saved Schumacher

The team announced on Thursday that Schumacher will not be retained for next season and will be replaced by Nico Hulkenberg.

Steiner insisted the final decision had recently been made, with Schumacher only being informed on Wednesday that he would not be staying and Hulkenberg signing his contract the same day.

Asked by Autosport whether the situation would have been different if Schumacher, and not team-mate Kevin Magnussen, had taken pole position at Interlagos last weekend, Steiner suggested that even that kind of performance would not have been enough.

“Nothing would have changed,” he said. “Because you can’t make this decision on an emotional outcome of a race or qualifying, it would be wrong, it could be wrong either way.”

Steiner acknowledged that Schumacher’s string of crashes earlier in the year didn’t help his cause, but stressed there was a bigger picture.

“That’s part of it, but you can’t just say, ‘oh it crashed,’ which obviously wasn’t good,” she said.

“I’m not trying to do well now, but then you can see how much influence his great results have had. It’s this balance you have to find. One thing is very good, when he finished in Austria and Silverstone, he has been very good results.

“And then you had the bad stuff about the crashes. So it’s a mix of all that. But it wasn’t an event as much as it seems that triggered this, it’s a combination of things and most importantly moving forward that we just want build the team back on its feet”.

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

He added: “Mick has improved a lot during the season. You all see it, I don’t have to tell you.

“So it took us a long time, we didn’t make this decision as you already think before the summer, it took us a long time to decide what was the best thing for the team. He drove well in some races.”

When asked what Schumacher was missing, Steiner said: “I think the experience of many years in F1, and never been with another team other than us.

“What Nico brings, he’s been with three or four teams before, so he has the experience and experience takes time to do, and we don’t have time at the moment because we want to move forward. We don’t want to be where we are now, we want to be better”.

Steiner said it’s hard to say whether Schumacher failed to live up to expectations.

“It’s difficult to answer this question, because what is the expectation? Maybe now we see things in the team that we need to fix in the team where we can do better with someone else, put his performance aside and so on. It’s more like we have to grow the team, not just the driver.

“It’s not Mick’s fault we are where we are. We have ourselves to blame but we have to work our way back up and there is a shorter way by taking a guy with a lot of experience who has done this in multiple teams who were in similar positions to the ones we have now “.

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Asked whether the 23-year-old deserved to find a place elsewhere, Steiner said: “I can’t judge whether he deserves it or not. I think there will be no place next year, unless something very strange happens at Williams this weekend. .

“So deserving or not, who am I to judge? I think we all have to work for something, nobody gave anything for free. I have no seats. I don’t like advising my colleagues, other team principals, who deserves what. I don’t I want to be in that position.

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