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Hulkenberg must escape Haas as soon as possible - Schumacher

Hulkenberg must escape Haas as soon as possible - Schumacher
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Ralf Schumacher thinks his countryman Nico Hulkenberg should try to escape the dead-last-in-2023 Haas team as soon as possible.

Ralf Schumacher thinks his countryman Nico Hulkenberg should try to escape the dead-last-in-2023 Haas team as soon as possible.

While Hulkenberg impressed on his return to Formula 1 last year, the German ended the season being critical of the team's stalled development progress.

However, the 2024 car appears to finally be a step forward in terms of the kind of tyre-eating characteristics that marred the team's races last year.

Schumacher, though, is not impressed.

"Nothing much will change," he told Sky Deutschland. "To exaggerate a little, I get the feeling it's been cleaned up a bit and sent back to the track with a few small changes."

Some believe Schumacher is bitter because of the way Gunther Steiner treated his nephew Mick in 2022, prior to his expulsion from the team.

Ralf denies that, telling Bild newspaper: "I actually liked Gunther's style. But at some point the criticism within the team became very personal.

"At the end of the day, it was the lack of success that became a problem for him (Steiner). He was given a lot of time, Haas invested a lot of money, and most of the time it all went wrong. He also didn't manage to bring in good people, unlike another small team, Williams.

"At some point, as the owner, you pull the ripcord," Schumacher said.

Hulkenberg, 36, has already hinted that he is keeping his eye out for opportunities to move up pitlane for 2025.

Schumacher thinks that's a good idea.

"For Nico at Haas, all he can be is better than his teammate - which was the case most of the time already. It got a little harder here and there because he couldn't handle the car like (Kevin) Magnussen after the update," said the former F1 race winner.

"So he needs to do that and then get away as quickly as possible because it's not going to work there."

Steiner's replacement as team boss, Ayao Komatsu, acknowledges that navigating the intense driver market 'silly season' this year will be critical.

"It's a huge responsibility," he is quoted by the Dutch magazine Formule 1. "But before I do that, we have to build a competitive car. That's the most important thing."

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