Before the Formula 1 journey to the North Sea, Mick Schumacher cannot complain about a lack of support. Formula 1 managing director Stefano Domenicali also wants the son of record world champion Michael Schumacher for marketing reasons in 2023 in one of the coveted regular cockpits. Buddy and mentor Sebastian Vettel is doing his last career kilometers for Schumacher junior lobbying work as usual only for the environment and human rights.
“You won’t be fifth or sixth in the car anymore, so it’s difficult to attract attention,” said the Aston Martin driver before the Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort on Sunday (3 p.m., in the WELT sports ticker) about the Haas von Schumacher: “But he does his job well in the background and I wish him that he stays in and gets a good car.”
Domenicali values Mick Schumacher as a “great guy” and a strong pilot. “He deserves to drive in Formula 1, not because of his name, it’s an incredible name, but he has the ability to be here,” said the Formula 1 boss.
Schumacher’s contract with the US team expires at the end of this year. In Haas, which was surprisingly strong at the start of the season, the 23-year-old initially had two serious accidents. He then collected twelve points at Silverstone and Spielberg, but recently went away three times empty-handed. Are his arguments strong enough? Is its lobby big enough?
“Maybe he didn’t have the start he wanted, but then he got going,” said Vettel. “I wish him a bit more drive for the next races. Unfortunately, nowadays you are judged very quickly by the latest results and there is a bit of a lack of foresight.”
But Schumacher is “someone who is constantly learning and – even if many have stopped learning – will continue to learn. I see that as his absolute strength, the speed is also there.” But is the speed enough to secure a car for the coming season? “We have no pressure to make a decision. Nobody is running away,” announced Haas team boss Günther Steiner. The US racing team has time and continues to explore the market. Schumacher must continue to perform to secure a spot for next season, Steiner advised.
Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari and Aston Martin are already booked for 2023. Haas, McLaren, Alfa Romeo, Alpha Tauri, Williams and Alpine still have vacant cockpits. Schumacher, as a Ferrari pupil, is given the best chance at Haas, which obtains engines from the Scuderia.
His connection to the Italians is now but probably dissolved. As the specialist portal “autosport.com” reported on Tuesday, the contract as a young driver will expire after this season as planned and will not be extended. Without a firm bond to Ferrari, he could now negotiate more freely with teams other than Haas.
The impact of the Oscar Piastri case should be groundbreaking for the driver market. Alpine had already named the Australian as Fernando Alonso’s successor at the start of the holidays, but the 21-year-old publicly disagreed and turned down the place.
Instead, the top talent should agree with McLaren and replace Daniel Ricciardo there. Alpine, however, insists on an allegedly valid contract with Piastri. The arbitration board for contractual disputes in motorsport is now dealing with this case.
2023 seed Alpine rider Esteban Ocon, a pal of Mick Schumacher, has a favorite for the spot alongside him. “I told the team management that I would prefer to drive with Mick Schumacher. We’re friends, I think a lot of him,” said the Frenchman, whose current team-mate Alonso will succeed Vettel at Aston Martin.
Ocon admitted that he did not exactly know Schumacher’s contractual situation. “But as I understand it, he hasn’t signed anything for 2023,” Ocon said. “So I said to my people: let’s get Mick.”