Former Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher thinks a switch of his nephew Mick Schumacher to the Alpine team is entirely possible. With no German Formula 1 driver having a contract for the 2023 season as yet, Ralf sees a surprise signing up of Mick Schumacher to the French team as a distinct possibility.
“Mick hasn’t signed a contract yet either. Therefore, he would be a candidate. A candidate with speed, as you have seen,” the TV pundit and uncle to Mick told the Sky channel. Mick Schumacher’s future in Formula 1 is uncertain, his contract with Haas expires after this season and there is a cockpit vacancy at Alpine for next year due to Fernando Alonso switching to Aston Martin.
Originally, the French racing team wanted to promote the Australian reserve driver Oscar Piastri to a regular race seat beside Ocon and had even announced this publicly. However, the 21-year-old turned down the contract publically on Twitter. Allegedly, he is about to join the McLaren team and will replace his compatriot Daniel Ricciardo there.
Meanwhile, Ralf Schumacher does not see Ricciardo as a contender for the Alpine cockpit.
“Personally, I can’t imagine him getting another chance in Formula 1,” said the 47-year-old. Besides his nephew Mick, Schumacher sees Aston Martin replacement driver Nico Hülkenberg as an option for Alpine. Clearly in no way a German-centric view point from Mick.
Another former F1 driver, Hans-Joachim Stuck, is convinced that Mick Schumacher is qualified for a better team than Haas and can’t believe the 2023 Formula One season could actually take place without a German driver. With Sebastian Vettel will retiring at the end of the year, and Mick Schumacher still without a contract for next season, this is a distinct possibility.
“He has proven his ability this season. He belongs in a car that is better than the Haas,” Stuck said on Eurosport.
Further, Stuck says that “He shows impeccable performances, the people in charge see that,”
“Moreover, he brings a super name with him. A team looking for a young driver can do no better than to sign a Mick Schumacher.”
Should Schumacher not receive an offer from a better team, Haas would be the obvious solution for Stuck:
“If Mick doesn’t find another cockpit, I wouldn’t understand Haas making a fuss about it. Because they won’t get anyone better.”
In any case, it is enormously important that Schumacher keeps his cockpit in Formula 1 and does not watch from the outside for a year.
“He has to stay in it, show himself and make his mark, as he has already done this year,” Stuck said. Not racing in Formula 1 for a year would be bad.”
When asked about the fact that there might not be a German in Formula 1 next year, the subject switched from Mick Schumacher to the outgoing Sebastian Vettel: “In my list of best drivers, he is one of the top six in history” said Stuck.
The German ex driver turned pundit believes that he is quitting at exactly the right time, as he no longer has a winning car with the Aston Martin.
“In my leaderboard, he is definitely in the top six in history. After all he has achieved, he is definitely in the same league as Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, Jackie Stewart, Lewis Hamilton and also Max Verstappen,” said Stuck.
Meanwhile, whilst Mick Schumacher is currently enjoying his time off for the summer break, his thoughts will definitely turned to how he might impress Alpine or Haas enough for a contract next year. But with the last weekend in August set to host the Belgian Grand Prix, the first race after the summer break, disaster will likely strike for the German.
Mick Schumacher will probably start the race from the back of the grid as he is threatened with a big penalty with a new power unit coming.
The Haas driver is already at the limit for all parts except for the exhaust system. If he changes the parts again, he will face a grid penalty. With team-mate Kevin Magnussen having had already changed his engine at the race in France and started from the very back. This step will probably also be taken by Mick Schumacher.
The 23-year-old will also finally receive the big Ferrari copy-cat aerodynamic update in Spa, which Magnussen already received in Hungary. Haas will probably also install the improved Ferrari engine in Mick Schumacher’s car for a complete overhaul of the Germans’ car.
The pressure will certainly be on the young German if he is to keep the German flag flying in F1 next year.