Guenther Steiner has opened up on the decision to axe Mick Schumacher from the Haas team at the end of the 2022 Formula 1 season.
Schumacher spent two years at Haas before being dropped ahead of the 2023 campaign.
In his place, the US-owned squad signed the experienced Nico Hulkenberg, who returned to the grid following two years on the sidelines.
Speaking to iNews, Steiner believes that Schumacher could see prior to his axing that he would be dropped from the team.
“I just sat down with him and explained that we needed to bring the team forward with an experienced driver,” Steiner said.
“It is part of the job. It is not a nice thing to do. I don’t enjoy it but you just have to be professional about it.
“Dealing with a Schumacher is not easy, as you can imagine. He was grown up about it. He wasn’t happy. I would say he saw the writing on the wall. He is a clever kid. He had two years.
“We didn’t get where we wanted to and I had to make some changes. You cannot beat up a dead horse.”
Schumacher has since found a role with the Mercedes F1 team, acting as its reserve driver for the current campaign.
The German driver and the matter of his future was featured in the most recent season of Drive to Survive, Netflix’s popular docu-series covering the sport.
In it, Steiner’s private criticisms of Schumacher come to light in talks with Haas owner Gene Haas – but Steiner says he has no regrets over what he said.
“I didn’t watch it, but I made the comments so I remember some of the things I say,” he commented.
“Obviously ‘Drive To Survive’ shows the worst and the most tricky moments. So obviously that’s what the show needs to do.
“Whatever was said, was said. I cannot take that one back and it was decided not to take it out because it you have nothing to hide and it is what it is. I’m not ashamed of it.
“I can explain it with ‘the heat of the moment’. As a racer you say things I wouldn’t say now. But things like this happen in racing.”