Haas will field an unchanged line-up for next season with both Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, who both graduated from Formula 2 to F1 with Haas for 2021, remaining with the team for 2022. The Russian and German are in their new rookie season, with Haas the only team yet to score a point in 2021. Next year will be Haas’ seventh season.
The two rookies joined the American outfit from Formula 2, and have fought the entire season with an uncompetitive car after Haas decided to focus their resources on building a new challenger for the broad guidelines change coming into force next season.
Also, the team affirmed on Thursday that the pair – who have conflicted on track various times this season, including at Monza and Zandvoort – would be driving that car into the new period of Grand Prix racing.
Mazepin is the son of a Russian billionaire who controls the team’s title sponsor Uralkali, while Mick Schumacher is the son of Ferrari’s incredible and seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher.
Schumacher, the son of seven-time world champion Michael, has been the most amazing, reliably speedier than Mazepin yet has been criticized by the team for various mistakes.
Mazepin, in the interim, has irritated Schumacher for certain aggressive defensive moves when they have been racing, and the team has had to sit down with the pair to quiet their relationship after a series of public disagreements.
Ferrari gives the team’s engines, with Schumacher as a member of their driver academy.
Team boss Guenther Steiner said in a statement that the team wanted congruity for 2022, the beginning of a new period with significant rules changes, after a learning year for the two drivers.
The drivers’ task in their debut season has been made more troublesome by the way that Haas have serenely the slowest car in the field, having decided to save money by not creating it before a significant guideline change for 2022 which will require all-new cars.
“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 Team Principal Guenther Steiner.
“2021 has allowed both drivers 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 rigors of a Formula 1 campaign and all that brings – both internally and externally.
“Now as we look ahead to the 2022 season, we’re confident we can move forward as a team and give Mick and Nikita a competitive race package to make the next step in their Formula 1 career.”
Haas picked against developing its 2021 car to put full focus on the incoming regulations next season, regarding this season as a transition year.
Schumacher said he is excited by the possibility of driving a car that ought to permit him to battle for points, following an intense first year in the sport.
It has left Schumacher and Mazepin at the back of the field, frequently just battling with one another for a position, which has prompted a few pressures erupting between the duo, seen most recently at Zandvoort with incidents in qualifying and the race.
While there were zero doubts about Mazepin proceeding with the team next year, especially with his primary backer, Uralkali, serving as Haas’ title sponsor, Schumacher’s agreement required finalizing.
“By being part of the Formula 1 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.
“New technical regulations, the impressive ambition of the entire Haas F1 team, and the support of Ferrari – of course, I believe this will bring us closer to the field in the 2022 season and we will be able to fight for points. I’m looking forward to being part of a team that is getting stronger, and I’ll do everything I can from my side to move us forward.
“Finally, I would like to thank the Ferrari Driver Academy for the trust they continue to give me and the support they have shown me over the years.”
Nikita Mazepin added: “I’m very excited for next year, the new car and simply just to get the opportunity with Haas F1 Team and grow together with them. I think we will come out strong next year.”
This affirmation implies there is currently only one seat left to be filled for next year – the second Alfa Romeo drive close by Valtteri Bottas, who will join from Mercedes.
F2 racer Guanyu Zhou and Formula E champion Nyck de Vries have both been linked with it, while occupant Antonio Giovinazzi is doing his best to prove he ought to get one more year with the team.