Steiner’s Haas team decided to drop Schumacher in favour of veteran driver Nico Hulkenberg.

While Schumacher did make steady progress throughout the season, the number of big shunts irked Steiner and owner Gene Haas.

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As a result, the German didn’t retain his seat for F1 2023.

Instead, Schumacher will act as Mercedes’ reserve driver, acting as a stand-in for Lewis Hamilton or George Russell.

The role was vacant after Nyck de Vries secured a full-time seat with AlphaTauri, while Stoffel Vandoorne is Aston Martin’s reserve driver.

Speaking to RTL, Steiner believes Schumacher can follow de Vries’ path of using the opportunity of reserve driver as a route back into F1.

“I think he is in a good position with Mercedes. Mercedes has many sibling teams,” Steiner said.

“[De Vries] jumped in at Williams and got a regular cockpit at AlphaTauri through this route.

“[Schumacher is] in a good position. I hope for no driver’s sake that he can’t drive. But if there is a possibility, Mick can sit in and drive.

“Sometimes one step back is two steps forward. He’s put himself in a good position with a team where he has the best chance for a regular cockpit in the future.”

Reflecting on the decision to ditch Schumacher, Steiner believes it was simply part of what happens in F1.

“That just happens in life. You break up often and that’s why it doesn’t mean that you break up in a fight,” Steiner added.

“In the end, we both played with open cards and that’s why I believe we still talk to each other and greet each other.”