The Schumacher name seems simultaneously to be a blessing and a curse.

Mick’s former Formula 3 rival Dan Ticktum became convinced that year of a conspiracy that Schumacher was favoured with better Mercedes engines because of who he was, while on the other hand Schumacher’s former Haas Formula 1 team-mate Nikita Mazepin said the family went to great lengths to prevent Mick receiving favourable treatment when they were karting team-mates.

In any case, that name comes with a certain degree of attention, expectation and added pressure to succeed. How could it not when your dad is an icon and one of the most decorated F1 drivers in history?

There was always this suspicion Ferrari selected Schumacher Jr for its driver academy at least partly out of some degree of emotional loyalty to Michael, rather than because Mick was outright good enough – but in fairness, the team always said he would need to prove himself worthy of in order to progress, regardless of who his dad is.

In 2022 that progression wasn’t consistent, or impressive enough. Schumacher is decently fast, as well as a little erratic and crash-prone, but basically and ultimately unreliable – a driver Haas feels it can’t rely on to deliver at the right time in the marginal scenarios the team usually operates in, even at its best.

Guenther Steiner clearly had doubts very early in 2022. As early as Baku, in June, Schumacher was being asked to raise his level. That’s not what a driver angling for a contract extension wants to hear, and it’s certainly not what you expect for a driver who might one day race for the Scuderia.

schumacher was in trouble once ferrari lost interest

Once it became clear – around the time of F1’s August break – that Ferrari was likely to drop Schumacher from its academy, Haas had no reason to do any favours for its engine supplier by persevering with someone it clearly felt was an unconvincing prospect.

Schumacher has habitually required a bit of time and patience before revealing the best of himself. The story of his junior career was one of becoming gradually more impressive once he’d had a season to gain experience and figure things out.

In F1 the story’s been similar. He’s done better in year two than year one – but the expensive crashes have persisted, and he’s looked unconvincing up against Magnussen (who himself had been dropped by Haas in the past), so perhaps Schumacher became a touch complacent after beating Mazepin in their rookie season together.

But that’s not to say he’s a lost cause. Haas is a small team that needs a more complete driver than Schumacher currently is. Persisting with Schumacher, who is much younger and should have a higher potential ceiling than Hulkenberg, would have been an understandable choice. Equally, Schumacher hasn’t really done enough to make his absence from next year’s grid feel like a ‘Lance Stroll replacing Esteban Ocon’ level of travesty.

Some time out of the spotlight, being developed by Mercedes as is mooted, could perhaps prepare Schumacher for an Alex Albon-style comeback in future. Schumacher is still only 23 years old, so has much more time on his side than Daniel Ricciardo, for example, but Schumacher will have to use the time wisely to make a more convincing case for himself than he has these past two seasons.

TECH NEWS RELATED

Nine Car-Themed Coffee-Table Books Worth Making Room For

Pick up one of these massive automotive-themed tomes and learn a thing or two.

View more: Nine Car-Themed Coffee-Table Books Worth Making Room For

Find out what’s the correct tyre pressure for your Toyota Corolla Cross

Keep your tyres at the factory-recommended pressures with ease. Find your vehicle's tyre pressures with ease. No need to be cross The Corolla nameplate has spanned well over 40 years and the much-loved sedan has now taken the next step in its evolution and is now a mid-sized crossover. This ...

View more: Find out what’s the correct tyre pressure for your Toyota Corolla Cross

Mercedes-AMG GT2 is the brand's most powerful customer race car

2023 Mercedes-AMG GT2 race car Mercedes-AMG’s GT is nearly ready to retire, its successor is around the corner, but the model isn’t hanging up its helmet yet. The German firm unveiled a new track-only evolution of the coupe designed to compete in GT2 races and powered by a 707-horsepower ...

View more: Mercedes-AMG GT2 is the brand's most powerful customer race car

Driven: 2023 Suzuki S-Presso, SA's most affordable SUV

The Suzuki S-Presso's physical makeover may be mild, but the enhanced micro-SUV boasts an array of new features, plus a different engine for even lower fuel consumption. The new S-Presso has had some very subtle work done recently, but the big news is the step up in safety and convenience ...

View more: Driven: 2023 Suzuki S-Presso, SA's most affordable SUV

Dainese Group Announces U.S. Distribution Deal With Tucker Powersports

The deal is already in effect as of December 7, 2022.

View more: Dainese Group Announces U.S. Distribution Deal With Tucker Powersports

TGM Teams With Aston Martin For Pilot Challenge

BRASELTON, Ga. — Team TGM will move their racing program to Aston Martin for 2023 with its IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge campaign joining its previously announced Rolex 24 at Daytona (Fla.) assault with the British brand. Last month the team partnered with Aston Martin and TF Racing for the ...

View more: TGM Teams With Aston Martin For Pilot Challenge

Plymouth Superbird Restomod Handing Out Losses With Hellcat Swap

It doesn’t get much better than 900-horsepower in a classic NASCAR legend. You might’ve seen a Super Bird once or twice in your life from visiting local tracks or even car show events. However you probably haven’t ever seen one with the powerhouse that lets it outperform even the ...

View more: Plymouth Superbird Restomod Handing Out Losses With Hellcat Swap

2023 Kia EV6, Audi A5 earn IIHS Top Safety Pick+ ratings

Automakers seem to be figuring out headlight performance faster and faster. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has just announced two more cars that receive the organization’s Top Safety Pick+ award due to improved lighting: the 2023 Kia EV6 and 2023 Audi A5. Both cars had top scores for ...

View more: 2023 Kia EV6, Audi A5 earn IIHS Top Safety Pick+ ratings

Tesla shorts get their revenge, make billions in profits on stock fall

Hyundai, SK On choose Bartow County for EV battery plant

Hertz Car-Rental Company to Pay $168 Million in False-Arrest Settlements

Which BAIC has the best fuel consumption?

Grala, Mosack Set Sam Hunt Racing Lineup

FIA Says F1 Racing Was Better This Season, But 'Cost Cap Will Take Years to Sink In'

Formula 1 extends Dutch GP deal through 2025

Redwood seals deal with Nevada Governor’s Office

Sono Motors starts funding campaign for the Sion

Schumacher: F1 lacks patience with young drivers

Silverstone brings F1 fans closer to action with barrier relocation

F1 fans vote for best overtake of 2022 season

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News