Schumacher can remain Mercedes F1 reserve amid Alpine WEC links

Mick Schumacher is welcome to stay at the Mercedes Formula 1 team in his reserve role even if he lands an Alpine World Endurance Championship race seat, says Toto Wolff.

Mick Schumacher, Reserve Driver, Mercedes-AMG

European F3 and FIA F2 champion Schumacher was dropped by the Haas F1 team at the end of 2022 owing to a brace of seven-figure car-splitting crashes that forced the team to abandon upgrades to meet its budgets.

The German subsequently rekindled his Mercedes relationship, the manufacturer having backed his junior career, for 2023 with Schumacher serving as reserve driver. But Schumacher is now linked with an LMDh drive with Alpine in 2024.

Autosport understands that the French sportscar marque wants a big-name signing to lead its fledgling programme, although an announcement on the driver line-up is unlikely to land until October.

Mercedes motorsport boss Wolff said that Schumacher signing for Alpine would not have to end his relationship with the team since he is “part of the family” and “will always have a home.”

Wolff said: “Mick has a place here as our reserve driver and is part of the family.

“We hope that he stays with us in that role. We will give him time in the car and he can get a works seat with another manufacturer in WEC or sportscars or wherever.

“We will always have this home here for him.

Mick Schumacher, Mercedes F1

Mick Schumacher, Mercedes F1

Photo by: Pirelli

“Whatever programme he does decide, he can stay, if it is possible from the other side, with us as a reserve driver.”

Wolff and drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have been extremely complimentary about the work Schumacher has done in the simulator throughout 2023.

In particular, they credited the son of seven-time F1 champion Michael with their overnight turnaround at the British GP in July in which Hamilton finished on the podium.

While a front-line F1 return is the priority for Schumacher, only one seat is realistically available on the grid for next season now that Alfa Romeo has confirmed an unchanged line-up of Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu.

AlphaTauri faces a choice between retaining Yuki Tsunoda for a fourth term and promoting Liam Lawson after his impressive substitute appearances at Zandvoort, Monza and Singapore. Daniel Ricciardo is highly likely to secure the other seat at the Red Bull sister squad.

That will only leave a berth at Williams alongside Alex Albon, should the Grove outfit not renew the services of American rookie Logan Sargeant.

As part of the Mercedes roster, Schumacher is also a reserve driver for McLaren.

He drove the Mercedes W14 for a Pirelli test at Barcelona in June and the following month, ran aboard the 2021 Italian GP-winning McLaren MCL35M at the Algarve Circuit.

Additional reporting by Gary Watkins 

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