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Hulkenberg poised to sign for Haas; Schumacher a Mercedes option

Nico Hulkenberg is close to agreeing a deal to race for the Haas team in 2023, replacing Mick Schumacher.

Nico Hulkenberg is believed to be on the verge of signing for the Haas F1 team, which would confirm his return to Formula 1. The final available seat on the F1 grid is close to being announced, with the 35-year-old all-but-confirmed at Haas for the 2023 season. The deal is expected to be 'multi-year' deal, where Haas will have the option to extend Hulkenberg's contract into 2024. A source of knowledge close to the information told RacingNews365 that all the finer contractual details had been agreed, with the final piece in the puzzle being a signature from Hulkenberg. Guenther Steiner is believed to have wanted a deal for Hulkenberg as long ago as 2017, but an agreement could not be reached at the time.

Schumacher in the Mercedes frame

A turbulent season for Schumacher looks set to leave the German driver without an F1 race drive for 2023. The 23-year-old came under increased pressure earlier in the year after failing to match teammate Kevin Magnussen's race results, and being involved in too many big crashes. A mid-season upturn in form caused many to suspect he could have earned his place on next season's grid, but Schumacher is highly expected to be without a race seat in 2023. He will likely be forced to seek out a reserve driver role for 2023, with Mercedes now in the frame to secure Schumacher's services, which was confirmed by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff after the Brazilian Grand Prix. "I don't know what the exact situation is with Mick is at Haas," Wolff commented to media after the Brazilian Grand Prix. "I believe that the most important thing for him is that he gets a race seat, but I make no secret of the fact that the Schumacher family belongs to Mercedes "We value Mick both as a person and as a race driver, and that's why we would consider taking up this option if he does not get a race seat, but that [a race seat] must be his first priority because he deserves one." Mercedes' previous links to Daniel Ricciardo ebbed away with the news that the Australian is now in talks with Red Bull over a reserve driver role.

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