Haas will announce next week whether Mick Schumacher is staying or going, the Formula One team’s boss Guenther Steiner said on Saturday.
Schumacher, the 23-year-old son of Ferrari great and seven times world champion Michael, is out of contract at the end of the season which ends in Abu Dhabi on Nov. 20 and risks being without a drive next year.
The German’s predicament was not helped by qualifying for Saturday’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix sprint race when he ended up last while team mate Kevin Magnussen took a surprise pole position.
“Expect the announcement some time next week,” Steiner told reporters, amid increasing speculation the team’s decision has been made.
Experienced compatriot Nico Hulkenberg has been touted as a likely replacement.
“I’m not telling you a day because then everybody will be waiting for that day. It will be coming next week,” said Steiner.
Schumacher has scored 12 points to Magnussen’s 24 this season but the German’s learning curve has been costly for a U.S.-owned team competing with one of the smallest budgets in the sport.
Steiner said he felt “almost sorry for him” after Friday’s qualifying.
“He did a good job in Q1 (the first phase) before he went out. The first two runs were very good but then with the dry tyres he just couldn’t get the feeling,” he said.
“He lost a little bit of (tyre) temperature when some people overtook him on his out lap and then couldn’t get the temperature back in and then lost a little bit of confidence, started to slide.
“That is what is happening. It just didn’t work for him yesterday. But otherwise the whole season we all know he had very good moments and very bad moments. It’s an up and down.”
Steiner said the 2020 Formula Two champion had become more consistent after a tough start to the season up against Magnussen, a far quicker and more experienced team mate than Russian Nikita Mazepin last year.