Ralf Schumacher feels Haas needed to give Mick Schumacher more 'encouragement'

Ralf Schumacher says it is probably a good thing Mick Schumacher and Haas will part ways at the end of this season, as a driver needs a team that "stands behind" him.

After months of speculation, two points-scoring results and three big crashes, Guenther Steiner announced on Thursday Haas would not be renewing Mick's contract for 2023.

Instead, the team has decided to sign Nico Hulkenberg, who the team boss called a "solid, reliable racer".

Mick is naturally disappointed, the 23-year-old adamant this is not the end of his Formula 1 story, so too is his uncle.

"Of course, it's a disappointment for such a young racing driver," Schumacher told Sky Deutschland. "Because it took so long, it was clear that it wasn't that easy."

The German, not for the first time, says blame belongs to Steiner who instead of giving Mick a "hug", publicly criticised him and made it known his seat was on the line.

"That's not how you treat an employee, so the result wasn't a big surprise," he said.

"You have to encourage such a young driver, you have to hug him from time to time."

As such he reckons it's probably not a bad thing that Mick will be leaving the team after this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

"I think it's also better that you go your separate ways," he said. "Because if you go on a common path, you have to have a team that stands behind you."

Mick's Formula 1 story is not over

There's only one spot remaining on the 2023 Formula 1 grid, Nicholas Latifi's Williams seat, however the team has already stated it's going to Logan Sargeant if he scores the necessary super licence points.

That means Mick is facing a year on the side-lines, Schumacher hoping he lands a reserve driver role.

Already Mercedes' motorsport boss Toto Wolff has said he's interested, but according to reports it depends on whether or not Daniel Ricciardo joins the Silver Arrows.

The Aussie is Mercedes' first choice but is also in the running for the Red Bull reserve role, said to be leaning more towards the latter.

If he joins Red Bull, Mick jumps to the front of the Mercedes' queue.

"I don't think Mick will be gone forever," said Schumacher. "That statement [from Wolff] already shows how to deal with drivers and how to appreciate them."

But while Schumacher is gutted for Mick, he's happy the seat means another German driver will be back on the grid in Hulkenberg.

"He has often proven that he can drive fast," he said. "I'm happy for him, he can now prove that he can consistently achieve good results."

Even pole in Brazil wouldn't have saved Mick

Although Steiner often said he'd wait until the last minute to decide his line-up, the Italian already knew before the Sao Paulo Grand Prix that it wasn't going to include Mick.

So much so that even if he'd taken pole at the Interlagos circuit instead of Magnussen, it wouldn't have saved his seat.

"Nothing would have changed," Steiner admitted. "Because you cannot make this decision on an emotional one race or one qualifying result, that would be wrong, it could be wrong both ways."

Mick, he added, had already paid the price earlier this season with his big crashes, shunts he wasn't able to off-set with points-scoring results.

"It's part of it, but you cannot just say, 'oh he crashed', which obviously wasn't good," he said.

"I'm not trying to make it good now, but then you can see how much influence his very good results have had. It's this balance you need to find.

"One thing is very good, when he finished in Austria and Silverstone, it was very good results.

"And then you had the bad things, the crashes. So, it's a mix of it.

"But it was not one event as much as it looks like triggered this, it's a combination of things and the biggest thing is going forward we just want to build up the team again."

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