Hulkenberg unmoved by Schumacher fate: 'That's just how F1 is'

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Nico Hulkenberg had little sympathy for Mick Schumacher when asked on Monday how he felt about returning to F1 and replacing his young compatriot at Haas.

For Schumacher, the writing had been on the wall for some time when Haas announced last week that it was dropping the 23-year-old son of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher in favour of Hulkenberg.

A complicated season marked by a pair of costly crashes, errors, and a disappointing performance level ultimately sealed Schumacher's fate.

While Haas' decision to drop Schumacher after two seasons fueled many debates in the paddock, Hulkenberg wasn't inclined to offer anything else but a sober and pragmatic view on the subject.

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"That’s natural in F1. We all fight for our careers, for the same piece of Tarmac," said the F1 veteran on the eve of his return to the track with his new team on Tuesday for F1's test day at Yas Marina.

"That’s just how F1 is and ultimately the driver, when he’s racing, he has to convince the team with performance. And if that’s not the case, the team is going to change.

"Same with engineers, with all personnel."

Few would likely contradict Hulkenberg's blunt but legitimate description of Formula 1's inner workings.

But regarding Schumacher's eviction from F1, a freshly retired Sebastian Vettel admitted to being surprised by Haas' decision to part ways with his protégé.

"Of course it’s bitter for him and I’m sorry for him," said Vettel last weekend in Abu Dhabi.

"I think the team management at Haas is sometimes … I don’t want to say anything, but sometimes maybe difficult to understand. I think Mick absolutely deserves a place in Formula 1.

"This season has certainly not been easy for him. He might have made a mistake here and there, but I don’t think the team was innocent either, at least from the outside.

"There are some drivers who give the impression that they don’t care, the driver who doesn’t care doesn’t exist and has never existed, and I think in terms of that, Haas could have done a better job for sure.

"But well, now it is, and I think Mick could learn a lot and will also learn from the situation and then hopefully come back very soon."

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