Haas explain why Mick Schumacher was stopped from doing donuts at 2022 Abu Dhabi GP
Mick Schumacher is one of the most popular figures in F1, having made his debut just two years ago with Haas. The young German driver had a decent first season but struggled a lot in the initial stages of 2022. The returning Kevin Magnussen outperformed him for the majority of the campaign, and it led to the latter losing his seat.
Schumacher’s axing has been controversial as many feel that he performed up to expectations in the second half of the season. He even scored his first points in F1 in Silverstone, followed by another point finish in Austria. However, his crashes towards the year added to the bills for Haas, so they decided to replace him with a more experienced driver.
Nico Hulkenberg’s last full-time F1 assignment came when he was with Renault. The 35-year-old lost his seat to Daniel Ricciardo, after which he spent the subsequent three years as a reserve driver for Racing Point/Aston Martin. Team boss Guenther Steiner feels that having Hulkenberg in the team will provide them with stability moving into the new season.
Why did Haas ask Mick Schumacher to stop doing donuts?
At the 2022 season finale, fans were sad to see Schumacher go, but they were looking forward to seeing him perform donuts. As soon as he started, his race engineer instructed him to stop. This generated a lot of backlash on social media, with people calling Haas out for their unfair treatment.
Schumacher himself seemed disappointed that the team did not let him enjoy his cooldown lap the way he wanted to. However, Haas recently explained to Motorsport Total why they didn’t want Schumacher doing those donuts. Doing donuts on tracks leads to fines that have to be paid by the F1 teams and fans thought that Haas wanted to limit their expenditure.
Haas explained to https://t.co/wBvTAwTp6l why Schumacher was told too stop the donuts on Sunday after his final race.
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In reality, the reason was more complicated. The Kannapolis-based outfit did not want to risk Schumacher crashing or damaging the car further which was a concern considering the fact that he had been in the car for a long time. On top of that, Hulkenberg was set to test the VF-22 the very next day for post-season testing. They described the situation of Hulkenberg not being able to drive the next day as ‘catastrophic’.
Haas only wanted to avoid any unnecessary risks, because they didn’t have any spare parts since it was the end of the season.