Haas sponsor won’t push for Schumacher seat
"Whoever drives for the team has our full support"
Haas looks set to keep its current basic team colours in 2023 despite signing a new title sponsor for 2023 and beyond - a Texas-based payment transfer company Moneygram.
"Their colours are white and red," grinned team boss Gunther Steiner. "Just like ours.
"Moneygram will allow us to invest more and hit the Formula 1 budget cap. Our goal is to achieve podium finishes in the medium term," he added.
It is a welcome financial boost for the small American team, having axed its former title sponsor Uralkali and driver Nikita Mazepin over the Ukraine conflict.
But it might actually be bad news for Mick Schumacher, as there may now be pressure on Haas to sign up an American driver.
Also in the running for 2023 is F1 veteran Nico Hulkenberg, but team incumbent Kevin Magnussen actually thinks Schumacher "definitely deserves" to keep his seat.
"He started off maybe not really liking the car," said the Dane, "but he’s really gained confidence and lately he’s been super hard for me to beat."
However, team owner Gene Haas made a rare public statement earlier this week when he warned that only more points finishes would secure Schumacher’s seat for next year.
"Gene is my boss and he has every right to speak his mind," German Schumacher, 23, said in Austin. "Everything he said is also true.
"I’m trying my best and hopefully there will be points this weekend."
When asked what he hopes happens in terms of his future, he added: "The talks are ongoing and I’m happy where I am."
The CEO of Haas’ new title sponsor is Alex Holmes, who vowed to stay out of the team’s deliberations about whether Schumacher is retained or replaced for 2023.
"We just want to be presented appropriately," he said.
"I met Mick Schumacher today and I see a fully motivated young man who makes a great impression on me, but Gunther ultimately determines who is in the car.
"Whoever drives for the team has our full support."