Steiner: Schumacher has "home advantage" to keep 2023 Haas F1 seat

Haas Formula 1 team boss Gunther Steiner says Mick Schumacher has a "home advantage" to keep his seat for 2023 because the team has already been working with him for two years.

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-22, leaves his pit box

Steiner is weighing up his options for next season on whether to keep Schumacher at the team alongside Kevin Magnussen or replace the German.

Earlier on in 2022 doubts arose over Schumacher's future at the team - and in F1 at large - due to several crashes and a lack of results, but after the summer break the 23-year-old has managed to steady the ship.

While Haas has generally struggled for competitiveness, Schumacher outqualified Magnussen three times in the past five races and looks to have kept himself in contention for 2023.

When asked if Schumacher's history and experience with the team could be an additional argument in favour of the German, Steiner admitted that 'the incumbent has a home advantage'.

"Absolutely, if you are working with somebody for two years, that’s an advantage. The incumbent has always got the advantage, it’s a home advantage," Steiner said in Japan.

"If you can have somebody you work with for two years, it’s better than bringing somebody new in, because as I always said you don’t have the learning time.

"That’s why we brought Kevin back as well, because he was here. He was out a year, but he knew everybody, and that’s always an advantage when you start from somewhere."

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-22, Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22, Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR22, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-22, Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22, Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR22, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

After a disastrous Monaco Grand Prix in May, in which Schumacher suffered the latest of several accidents, he came under fire as the team's bills for crash damage piled up, with Steiner saying: "it's just not possible to continue like this."

If Haas decides not to continue with Schumacher for a third season, the vastly experienced Nico Hulkenberg is still considered to be a contender for an F1 return.

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Antonio Giovinazzi, who will have a second FP1 run with the team at the upcoming United States Grand Prix as part of its agreement with Ferrari, is also said to be on the list.

Meanwhile Pietro Fittipaldi, who deputised for the injured Romain Grosjean at 2020's last two races, has been confirmed as the team's FP1 driver for Mexico and Abu Dhabi as part of its two mandatory rookie runs.

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