Mick Schumacher is a divisive topic amongst the Formula One commentators and fans alike. There are those who believe he should have been retained for a drive in 2023 and others who suggest he only made his way into F1 because of the family name.
However, Helmut Marko last week admitted Red Bull Racing had assumed Schumacher would remain the property of the Ferrari academy and “as a result, he was never really in our focus.”
Alpha Tauri boss wanted Mick Schumacher
Alpha Tauri team boss Franz Tost went further in an interview with RTL stating, “For me personally, he was already a target, I would actually have liked to have Mick in the car.”
Tost ascribes politics and ‘other stuff’ as to why Mick was not offered the role of replacing Pierre Gasly which does cast a shadow over Nyck de Vries new opportunity. Not being the team bosses first choice is not where an F1 rookie driver would want to be.
With Schumacher signing as a reserve for Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel retiring, this means Nico Hulkenberg is the sole German driver on the F1 grid this year.
Germany needs a new F1 hero
Franz Tost muses on the fall from grace F1 has had with the German public when speaking today with Auto Bild. He believes Micj Schumacher could have “become the new hero” for Germany.
“Mick’s career determines the interest in Germany. Nico Hülkenberg cannot do it alone.
“They [the German public] wanted to see Michael Schumacher win back then and not the engine or the car from Mercedes. Only heroes trigger a boom. As Michael Schumacher showed.
“The second example is Boris Becker. Before him, interest in tennis was more reserved for the affluent citizens. That changed abruptly with the success of Boris and Steffi Graf. Suddenly all the kids wanted to play tennis.
Mick could be Germany’s new F1 star
“He could have become the new hero, but unfortunately he’s out of F1 for now. What a shame.”
The German speaking Austrian boss of the Red Bull sister team thinks Germany has been “spoiled” with their sporting success in football and Michael Schumachers brilliance.
“If they had reached the final, half of Germany would have followed the games in Qatar as well. One thing is certain: people need heroes, and they need them made of flesh and blood, not metal.”
As it was only a small percentage of the German population watched the world cup final in Qatar.
Mick has hope for a 2024 F1 drive
However, the news is good for Mick Schumacher having Franz Toast speaking so highly of him. With Yuki Tsunoda entering his third year with the team, the Japanese driver needs to step up to the plate.
Tsunoda in his second year in F1 scored just half the points of his team mate Pierre Gasly and was joint 16th in the drivers’ championship on 12 points with Mick Schumacher.
With young gun Nyck de Vries in the Alpha Tauri team this season, were Tsunoda to be perceived as failing to deliver, Mick Schumacher could be a shoe in at the Faenza based F1 team for 2024.
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Lewis Hamilton & Jenson Button visiting McLaren’s famous unit 2 back in 2010 🤩🏎️
Who else would love to spend a day here? 🙋♂️#F1 pic.twitter.com/T3BCjUJhI9
— Crash F1 (@CRASH_NET_F1) January 31, 2023
If he were to join AT/had a realistic chance, he would’ve already joined for this year, given his Ferrari association was ending anyway.
Should a driver change happen for 2024, that would most likely be for Iwasa, followed by Lawson & or Hauger.
Proof again that ad campaigns are more important than driver ability. High end car sales are suffering in Germanic (austria Hungary, Germany etc etc etc) circles. And they have a lot of money. It’s why Aston hired Vettel, and why Ferrari kept buying Mick chances FIA blind folds in the junior series.
He isn’t the only driver to ensure car sales and advertising dollars in F1… I think it was said that there are only 2 or 3 non pay drivers in F1 right now.
Even though they collect a salary from their team, their personal sponsors pay an equal or higher amount to the team. And the reason they are on the team is advertising in certain demographics.