“Situation is difficult at the moment,” says former F1 driver and champion. Mick Schumacher’s F1 comeback? Vettel remains sceptical… Four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel was sceptical about his friend Mick Schumacher’s chances of securing a cockpit for next season.
Mick Schumacher’s return to Formula One would be extremely important for German motorsport, according to retired former world champion Sebastian Vettel, but despite this, the F1 veteran has a damning conclusion for the youngster.
“From a German point of view, it’s essential. He’s not only the greatest German talent, but perhaps the only one at the moment,” the 36-year-old told Sky on the sidelines of a show event at the Nürburgring.
However, Vettel no longer holds out much hope that Schumacher will be behind the wheel of one of the ten Formula One teams for the 2024 season. “I think the situation is difficult at the moment,” said the German: “There is only one cockpit. It’s not easy to get in at the moment.”
Vettel was referring in particular to the situation at Williams, where the future of regular driver Logan Sargeant remains uncertain. Although there are also question marks over AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo or Alfa Romeo’s Guanyu Zhou, others could be considered favourites in the event of a driver change.
Schumacher must work on his “second chance”
“But somehow there is always a possibility,” added the experienced Vettel: “I think it is important that things continue for him next year. That he continues to work on second chances…”
While Sebastian Vettel will end his F1 career at the end of the 2022 season after 299 starts, four world championship titles and 53 race wins, Mick Schumacher has joined Mercedes after leaving Haas. He is employed there as a test and reserve driver.
According to sport.de columnist and F1 expert Felix Görner, something “extraordinary” will have to happen for Mick Schumacher to have any chance of a cockpit in 2024.
“Schumacher has to work on a Plan B. A Formula 1 cockpit is simply not feasible for him at the moment,” Görner said in his latest column.
Schumacher shock return to F1 seat?
Mercedes’s relationship with Williams is strong, and with that comes perhaps a greater opportunity for Mick than some might think.
“I think teams are missing out, to be honest. I think he was burned last year,” said the Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, who hasn’t stopped praising the youngster’s efforts this season since joining as reserve driver.
Mercedes placed their young driver George Russell with customer team Williams to develop his skills before promoting him alongside Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff is piling the pressure on their team principal James Vowles to recruit Schumacher for 2024 as reported by Sport1 back in May.
Vowels who was a senior Mercedes team member responded by applauding the job Sargeant was doing and claimed he would get better as the year progressed.
Schumacher set for Williams F1 return
Certainly, Logan Sargeant requires a miracle to save his seat at Williams and James Vowles will come under increasing pressure from the team’s investors to recruit a driver capable of contributing to the excellent work of Alex Albon.
The paddock expectations now are that Schumacher will replace Sargeant for 2024 and with Toto Wolff continually backing his cause it will be hard for the Williams team boss to argue against.