Mick Schumacher retains Haas seat for 2022 F1 season

By Sports Desk September 23, 2021

Mick Schumacher has retained his seat with Haas for the 2022 Formula One season.

The 22-year-old and fellow rookie Nikita Mazepin will both be retained after impressing team principal Guenther Steiner.

Schumacher, son of F1 legend Michael, and Mazepin moved to the American outfit from Formula Two ahead of this season.

"We knew we wanted continuity behind the wheel in 2022 and I'm happy to confirm exactly that with Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin competing for Uralkali Haas F1 team next year," said Steiner. "2021 has afforded both drivers the opportunity to learn Formula 1 – and as rookies – they've done a lot of that this year.

"It's been a tough season for sure with the package we've had, but at the same time they've both embraced the challenge and worked closely with the team to learn our processes and adapt to the rigours of a Formula One campaign and all that brings – both internally and externally."

Before stepping up to the big time, Schumacher won the F3 European Championship and Formula Two titles.

He and Mazepin are yet to score a point in 2021 but Schumacher is revelling in the experience.

"By being part of the Formula One field, I am living my dream," he said. "The first year together with Haas F1 is very exciting and instructive, and I'm sure I can bring all the experience I've gained into the coming year."

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    What were the accusations against Horner?

    On February 5, Red Bull Racing’s parent company GmbH confirmed Horner was under investigation following an accusation of “inappropriate behaviour”. The company said it “takes these matters extremely seriously and the investigation will be completed as soon as practically possible”.

    Horner denied the claim – made by a female colleague – and remained as team principal and CEO of the Milton Keynes-based team. It is understood the complainant also continued in her role.

    How did Red Bull react?

    Horner was questioned by a lawyer for eight hours at a secret London location. There was no immediate resolution and Horner subsequently appeared at Red Bull’s car launch on February 15.

    He continued to dismiss the allegations. Horner then headed to Bahrain for last week’s three-day test before returning to England, while Red Bull’s Austrian board met to discuss his future.

    What was the verdict?

    On the eve of this weekend’s curtain raiser – and 23 days after it emerged Horner was under investigation – Red Bull GmBH said the grievance against the 50-year old had been dismissed.

    The corporation said it was confident the investigation had been “fair, rigorous and impartial” but added that the report, understood to stretch to 150 pages, is “confidential”. However, a number of senior figures in the sport felt Red Bull’s probe lacked transparency.

    So, what happened next?

    Twenty-four hours later, a number of messages and images apparently exchanged between Horner and the complainant were sent from an anonymous email account to 149 members of the F1 paddock – including FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem, F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali and the grid’s nine other team principals, as well as members of the media.

    What did Horner say?

    Horner released a statement saying: “I will not comment on anonymous speculation, but to reiterate I have always denied the allegations.”

    He was back in the paddock a day later for qualifying as Max Verstappen took pole position. There was speculation that another damning email leak against Horner would arrive on Friday – but it failed to materialise.

    Will the FIA take any action?

    It is understood the FIA explored bringing a disrepute charge against Horner – and assessed the legalities of seeking Red Bull to hand over its report – but no action has emerged.

    Neither F1, nor its regulator, has commented publicly on the latest allegations. Horner met with both Domenicali and Ben Sulayem on Friday.

    And what about Red Bull’s sponsors and partners?

    There is thought to be considerable unrest and unease behind the scenes following the latest allegations to hit Horner – but there has been no public comment from Red Bull Racing’s two biggest partners – Ford and Oracle.

    Will Horner be on the pit wall for Saturday’s race?

    Yes. It is understood Horner remains defiant that he can see out the controversy.

    His wife Geri Halliwell flew to Bahrain and could be trackside on Saturday, while Chalerm Yoovidhya, who owns 51 per cent of the Red Bull group, might also be in attendance.

  • Lewis Hamilton confident Mercedes can challenge at front with Max Verstappen Lewis Hamilton confident Mercedes can challenge at front with Max Verstappen

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    Verstappen is expected to romp to his fourth consecutive world championship in his all-conquering Red Bull machine.

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    Red Bull’s superstar driver Max Verstappen stopped short of providing his full support for embattled team principal Christian Horner.

    Verstappen temporarily took the spotlight off Horner – whose Formula One future is again in the spotlight after hundreds of WhatsApp messages appearing to be written by him to a female colleague were leaked – when the Dutchman secured pole position for Saturday’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

    But moments after capturing top spot, Verstappen was quizzed on how the latest allegations surrounding Red Bull had affected his preparations, and if Horner remains the right person to lead the crisis-hit team.

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    Appearing to swerve the question about Horner, he added: “It’s not our business to get involved in that. We are paid to do our job, that is what we are out there doing, and that is what we love doing and that is what I focus on.”

    Verstappen was asked again if he still had faith in Horner.

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    On Wednesday, Horner was cleared to continue as Red Bull team principal following an internal probe into “inappropriate behaviour” by the F1 team’s parent company, Red Bull GmbH. He has always denied the claims.

    But just 24 hours later, a number of messages and images apparently exchanged between Horner and the complainant were sent from an anonymous email account to 149 members of the F1 paddock – including FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem, F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali and the grid’s nine other team principals, as well as members of the media.

    Domenicali and Ben Sulayem spoke on Friday to discuss the next steps.

    Horner’s wife, Geri Halliwell, flew to Bahrain and could be with her husband at Saturday’s race. Chalerm Yoovidhya, who owns 51 per cent of the Red Bull group, might also be in attendance.

    Neither F1’s American owners, Liberty Media, nor its regulator, the FIA, have seen Red Bull GmbH’s report into Horner, which is thought to stretch to 150 pages and was said to be “confidential”.

    The FIA considered the legalities of asking Red Bull to hand over its report, and examining if Horner might have breached two clauses of its International Sporting Code.

    Article 12.2.1.c of the code states that a competitor will have committed an offence if there was “any fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any Competition or to the interests of motor sport generally”.

    Article 12.2.1.f highlights “any words, deeds or writings that have caused moral injury or loss to the FIA, its bodies, its members or its executive officers, and more generally on the interest of motor sport and on the values defended by the FIA”.

    Meanwhile, article 12.2.1.g states that “any failure to cooperate in an investigation” would breach the code.

    However, the likelihood of any action receded as another extraordinary day – which included speculation that another damning email leak would arrive but never did – wore on.

    Horner spoke only once about the latest allegations as he made his way from Red Bull’s hospitality suite to the team’s garage earlier on Friday.

    “I am not going to comment on anonymous speculation from unknown sources,” he said. When asked what comes next, Horner replied: “We go racing.

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