Haas withdraws Schumacher from Saudi Arabian GP

Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Haas withdraws Schumacher from Saudi Arabian GP

Formula 1

Haas withdraws Schumacher from Saudi Arabian GP

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Haas has withdrawn Mick Schumacher from the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix following his heavy crash in qualifying on Saturday night.

Schumacher lost control on a curb and hit the concrete wall at high speed on the exit of Turn 10, registering an initial impact in excess of 35G. While the German was conscious and talking to the doctors when the medical car arrived, he was taken to hospital for precautionary scans after initial checks showed no injuries.

Haas, however, has confirmed that Schumacher will not race on Sunday with the team only able to enter one car for Kevin Magnussen, who will start from 10th on the grid.

Pietro Fittipaldi is the Haas reserve driver but is not allowed to take part in the race as he did not complete a practice session or qualifying this weekend.

“[Schumacher] was in hospital for the scans they wanted to do but he’s OK,” Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said. “We made the decision not to race tomorrow with Mick. There’s too many unknowns about how he will feel in the morning and there’s nothing to be gained. The car, obviously, is in a state as it is, and by having him out racing tomorrow could compromise our Melbourne efforts.

“There’s no point doing something tomorrow when you have to start from the pit lane anyway. At the moment we are in a position where we can score points and I think we have a better chance if we focus and regroup for Melbourne.”

Steiner says the decision was taken with the work Haas needs to do to prepare the car, given the damage sustained in the crash.

“If we don’t race tomorrow we are 100% OK (on parts) for Melbourne…We have got enough bits for Melbourne, therefore there’s no point to risk anything.

“We have to ship everything from here to Melbourne; we cannot ship it to the UK now. So all the stuff on the car you need to crack-check and all that sort of stuff, so it would not be a good job knowing you cannot end up in the points if you start from the pit lane this year because there are too many good teams.”

The team principal added that he did have a nervous wait to find out Schumacher was OK, with the radio connection breaking on impact with the wall.

“The radio broke the moment when he hit — everything was gone. We got a note pretty quickly from the medical car driver that he was conscious. But we didn’t have any data and the radio didn’t work anymore.”

Schumacher has since been checked and released from hospital and is back recovering at his hotel in Jeddah.

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