Mick Schumacher told off in brutal scenes after final race, Abu Dhabi, donuts, message to team

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The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was a bittersweet finish to the season with four drivers set to be off the grid for 2023.

Aussie Daniel Ricciardo and retiring four-time champion Sebastian Vettel may have grabbed most of the attention but it was also the end of the line for Haas’ Mick Schumacher and Williams’ Nicholas Latifi.

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While the F1 world lauded Vettel for his brilliant career, the other three were forced out of their seats.

Ricciardo is hopeful of a return in 2024 as an eight-time race winner and is expected to sign as Red Bull’s reserve driver.

But although Schumacher is hopeful he can also return after just two seasons in the seat of one of the sport’s back markers with speculation he may sign as Mercedes’ reserve driver, nothing is certain in this sport.

At just 23, Schumacher may have raced his last race in an F1 car as with only 20 seats available, there are always new drivers pushing for a spot on the grid.

Which makes Schumacher’s final radio messages all the more heartbreaking.

Schumacher with Esteban Ocon before the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Photo by Ben Stansall / AFPSource: AFP

Amid the normal post-race details after he finished 16th in his final drive for the team, Schumacher said farewell to the team..

“Thanks a lot, thanks for always pushing, we’ve really enjoyed working with you, and we’ll be racing you again somewhere,” his engineer said.

Schumacher also said thank you to those who supported him, before the reply: “We all love you here Mick, thanks buddy.”

Although the three podium finishers and Vettel were the only ones cleared to do donuts after the race, Ricciardo also performed the act and Schumacher didn’t want to miss out either.

Last week it was revealed Schumacher was out at Haas, Half an hour later, Nico Hulkenberg was revealed as his replacement.

But Haas weren’t having it.

Chief race engineer Ayao Komatsu told Schumacher: “Sorry Mick, can you stop doing donuts please? Seriously. I’m sorry Mick but we just can’t.”

Schumacher replied: That’s alright…I love you too.”

Although it’s the end of the season, teams will participate in the young driver test this week, which will include Aussie Jack Doohan for Alpine.

Another reason speculated over was the weight of the car might be too low as both the driver and the car are weighed after the race to ensure they aren’t under the weight limit.

Schumacher added he doesn’t’t believe his time in F1 is over.

“It didn’t feel like the last race of the season and it didn’t feel like my last race,” Schumacher said.

“My mind is pretty much settled on coming back in ’24 if not earlier in ’23.

“I wouldn’t say I feel like (I am in a) position (for a full-time seat) but I do feel confident that I’ll be able to get something.

“I feel I’ve shown my pace and I know a lot of people are happy with how I’ve developed.”

It has been a rather messy end to Schumacher’s time at Haas.

Despite finishing equal 16th next to Alpha Tauri’s Yuki Tsunoda on the drivers championship this season after an eighth at Silverstone and sixth in Austria, Schumacher had less than half the points of his teammate Kevin Magnussen.

Sky Sports’ Martin Brundle revealed Schumacher’s exit from the team may have come after complaints from the German’s entourage.

“They have gone for the security of experience – Mick crashed too many cars,” he said. “I think the team were fed up of Mick’s entourage and all the pressures that came with that.

“He has been dropped by Ferrari as well, so it’s difficult times for him. Mick will pop up somewhere else. I think he’s worthy of a place on the grid – maybe in a reserve role, treading water. Haas want that experience and confidence rather than trying to bring young guns in, which hasn’t worked for them.”

Schumacher and Ferrari’s relationship will come to an end in December due to his Ferrari Driver Academy contract finishing.

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