Nico Hülkenberg will exchange Mick Schumacher at Haas in 2023. This makes the 35-year-old the one German common driver within the area. The System 1 veteran explains in an RTL/ntv interview why that hardly issues to him, and why he had no contact with Mick Schumacher earlier than and after the Haas choice. Hülkenberg goes so far as to say, Schumacher merely wasn’t adequate in a damning assertion about his fellow German F1 driver.
The time because the paddock’s ever prepared ‘firefighter’ is over. For the reason that finish of 2019, when the contract with Renault ended, Nico Hülkenberg has been a sought-after “leap in driver”, however not an everyday driver. Fireman Nico for Racing Level, then Aston Martin and Mercedes.
And the all-rounder delivered, leaping in spontaneously a number of occasions right into a automotive he hardly knew, typically on tracks he had by no means pushed earlier than, like in Saudi Arabia in 2022. In 2020, in his precise function as an RTL pundit, he obtained a name over espresso to please exchange Lance Stroll, who had fallen in poor health.
Hülkenberg, fully in his aspect, jumped first into his personal Porsche to observe the observe for a couple of laps, then into the Racing Level F1 automotive. Virtually as if he had by no means been away.
Hülkenberg maintained contact with Günther Steiner after which the polarising Haas staff boss determined on the finish of the yr to modify to his second cockpit. Hülkenberg as a substitute of Schumacher. Expertise as a substitute of youth.
The change had been foreshadowed the weeks earlier than, however however precipitated a bang in Germany. Schumacher scored too few factors in Haas’ opinion, had precipitated excessive prices with a few crashes. “We needed to carry Mick,” Steiner mentioned afterwards.
Hülkenberg was warming up within the background, conserving match, however he didn’t have a direct alternate with Schumi jr throughout this time, as he revealed within the RTL/ntv interview. “We haven’t talked to one another since then. We by no means actually exchanged ideas earlier than that both,” says Hülkenberg.
After all we chat typically on the drivers’ parade as a result of we communicate the identical language, Hulk explains additional. “Mick can be a special era. We by no means had an actual relationship, one thing like he has with Sebastian Vettel.”
Hülkenberg then slams his fellow German by dryly saying that the teenager was not adequate, he was on his manner out anyway.
“The story is now what it’s. If it wasn’t me, it might have been another person.” says Hülkenberg.
Hülkenberg on Steiner: “He says what he thinks”.
“I need to persuade, do a very good job, proceed to develop with Haas and produce the staff ahead. I’ve to do this along with Kevin in a single wash as a staff.” In spite of everything, whereas the connection between Steiner and Schumacher by no means actually appeared rosy, Hülkenberg believes he’ll slot in properly with the South Tyrolean.
Steiner, he says, is a “straight man”. In different phrases, “he says what he thinks.”