The head of Alpine F1 and the French brand’s endurance programme has confirmed that talks are underway with Mick Schumacher for the next season of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) where it is expected the young German will get a race seat for next year.
Some rumours have been confirmed; a few days ago, various media reported that talks were underway between Alpine and Mick Schumacher for the WEC programme.
“It is true that we are discussing with Mick the possibility of him driving the A424 in our endurance programme. I think it would be a great opportunity for both parties, but at the moment we are just discussing and I hope we will be able to organise a test soon,” confirmed Bruno Famin, Director of Alpine Motorsport, at a press conference.
Without a Formula 1 race seat next season, the German would be able to find activity and in a world FIA championship outside of Formula One.
Mick Schumacher, son of F1 legend Michael Schumacher, has had a turbulent year in his career. His stint with Haas proved challenging and led to his dismissal from the team. Schumacher had hoped to return to F1 in 2024, but with few opportunities in the sport, rumours began to circulate that he was considering a move to Alpine.
Alpine, a team owned by Renault, competes in motorsport events such as Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship (WEC) as well as Formula 1.
Schumacher’s potential move to Alpine could open up new horizons for the young driver.
Wolff wishes to keep Mick at Mercedes
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has expressed his commitment to keeping the talented driver within the Mercedes family. Wolff insisted that Schumacher’s reserve driving seat at Mercedes is secure, stating, “Mick has a place here as a reserve driver – he is part of the family.”
This affirmation from Wolff is a testament to Mercedes’ investment in Schumacher and their belief in his abilities.
Wolff’s sentiments extend beyond Schumacher’s F1 career. He added that Mercedes hoped Schumacher would remain with the team in his current role, giving him valuable track time. This underlines Mercedes’ commitment to nurturing Schumacher’s talent and providing him with opportunities to grow as a driver.
Schumacher move to Alpine
While Schumacher’s talks with Alpine have fuelled speculation about his future, Wolff has confirmed these negotiations and offered an intriguing possibility.
Wolff stated, “If he can get a seat with another manufacturer in the WEC, in sportscars or somewhere else, he will always have this home base here.”
This statement underlines Mercedes’ willingness to accommodate Schumacher’s ambitions beyond F1.
Wolff emphasised that Schumacher’s role as a reserve driver for Mercedes can coexist with his ambitions elsewhere, illustrating the flexibility of the arrangement. This unusual but forward-thinking approach could provide Schumacher with a unique balance between F1 and other motorsport pursuits.
Hulkenberg: Le Mans seat is “no replacement” for F1
The Haas driver who has Le Mans experience in the past says that for Mick, Le Mans would be a poor replacement for Formula 1.
In 2015, Hulkenberg accepted an offer from Porsche to contest the Le Mans 24 hours in the top prototype category whilst also racing in F1 with Force India. A venture that was very successful with the German’s car claiming first spot.
“It’s an alternative,” Hulkenberg told Auto Motor und Sport. “But there is no replacement for F1…”
“The WEC is a great series, but of course it is one step behind Formula 1 in terms of importance…”
Alpine yet to confirm drivers for WEC
On the Alpine side, the team is preparing its construction for its return to the top category. The French team recently tested its hypercar at Lurcy-Lévis. But there is still one unknown factor: who will be the drivers next year? The Blues have not confirmed anything, but it seems logical that Nicolas Lapierre, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Charles Milesi will be retained as they are the only ones to test the A424.
This would leave three places open for the German, as Alpine will be running two cars in the next WEC season.
In this case, Mick Schumacher would be following in the footsteps of his father, who competed in endurance races with Sauber Mercedes team in the late 1980s.
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