Schumacher, the son of seven-time world champion Michael, lost his Haas seat to Nico Hulkenberg at the end of 2022 following a season of struggles and several costly crashes. 

The 2020 F2 champion saw the “writing on the wall” after finding himself under relentless pressure, according to Steiner, who opened up about the ‘difficult’ conversation he had with the German in an interview with iNews

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“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.”

Steiner and Haas owner Gene Haas’ private criticism about Schumacher during 2022 was revealed in the latest season of Netflix’s Drive To Survive

Speaking at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Steiner insisted he is “not ashamed” of his comments. 

“I didn’t watch it, but I made the comments so I remember some of the things I say,” he said. 

“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.”