Mick Schumacher is the “one loser” in this past week’s double move in Formula 1’s driver market, that’s according to Auto Motor und Sport.
Last Thursday Sebastian Vettel announced that this season would be his last in Formula 1, the German citing a desire to spend more time with his family as his reason for quitting.
Immediately there were speculation as to who would take his seat, the four-time World Champion putting forward Schumacher’s name to team owner Lawrence Stroll.
He also broadcast his pick to F1’s media.
“I do have my opinion,” he said. “I think very highly of Mick. I’m not entirely objective because I’m very close to him. But I do think he’s a great driver and is a learner.
“He keeps learning when others stall or stop making progress. He does have qualities but he’s also very young still, he doesn’t have a lot of experience.”
But while Vettel was talking up Schumacher, Aston Martin were already in talks with Fernando Alonso and announced early Monday morning that the Spaniard would replace Vettel next season having signed a multi-year deal.
Auto Motor und Sport is worried about what comes next for Schumacher.
“One loser of the Alonso deal is called Mick Schumacher,” wrote Tobi Gruner.
“The German had already had hopes for the cockpit at Aston Martin. Vettel himself brought his buddy into play as a suitable successor.
“If Haas doesn’t want to continue with the Ferrari junior at the end of the season, Schumi doesn’t have many options left.”
Schumacher is not in line to take Alonso’s Alpine seat with that expected to go to reserve driver Oscar Piastri.
Edd Straw at The Race also worries about what lies ahead for Schumacher come 2023, it is either Haas or bust.
“Schumacher’s only realistic route out of Haas is closed off,” he said. “And that might be fine, because he is doing well there and the team doesn’t have any ready-made alternatives.
“But it hasn’t been an entirely harmonious season and there were rumours that Schumacher was keen to get out. Now there’s no obvious way to do so for 2023.”
Schumacher should be thankful that Alonso’s signed
Mick Schumacher should not feel hard done by facing a third season with Haas, in fact he should count missing out on the Aston Martin drive as a blessing.
Yes there are questions about whether Haas want to continue with the German given that he has scored just twice in 34 starts.
But having broken his duck at Silverstone, making it back-to-back points in Austria, it was Zhou Guanyu that cost him a potential third top-ten in France while Haas’ strategists have only themselves to blame for a point-less Hungarian GP.
Schumacher has now shown himself to be a points-scorer, someone who can fight for a top-ten showing even when it is against Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton.
It bodes well for his future and, given his connection to Ferrari, it seems unlikely – almost unfathomable – that Haas would be the ones to end that relationship as they need a Ferrari-backed driver for seat number two, seat number one going to Kevin Magnussen.
The Dane is proving to be the perfect team-mate for Schumacher. Not only is he willing to guide him, he’s an elbows-out racer which is one aspect that is still missing in Schumacher’s skill set.
Had he moved to Aston Martin along with Lance Stroll, who is by no means a number one driver, it would have been the entitled leading the inexperienced. And it would have quickly imploded. One of them would have been without a job, and no it wouldn’t be Stroll.
Between the two of them Aston Martin would have become a team chasing its tail, more than it has been doing under Vettel’s leadership. The team needs guidance from an experienced racer, such as Alonso, and Schumacher needs continuity to continue to grow.
It is more 2024 that he should be concerned about…