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WEC Alpine Jerez testing

Mick Schumacher completes first Alpine Hypercar test amid 2024 WEC links

Ex-Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher has completed his first test outing in Alpine’s LMDh car after being linked to a drive with the French manufacturer in the World Endurance Championship.

Alpine A424 Jerez testing

Schumacher, who drove for Haas in F1 in 2021-22, sampled the Alpine A424 at the Jerez circuit on Tuesday as part of a multi-day test at the Spanish venue.

It was the German’s first ever run behind the wheel of a prototype sportscar, with the 24-year-old spending the entirety of his racing career so far in single-seaters.

Schumacher’s run programme was relatively short but it allowed him to gain an understanding of the car’s systems and behaviour, including weight transfer during corners. LMDh cars weigh well over 1000kg, compared to the 798kg minimum weight of a modern ground effect grand prix car.

As things stand, Alpine has scheduled no further tests with Schumacher, who currently acts as a reserve driver for Mercedes in F1, but Tuesday’s run suggests there is a clear intention to find an agreement for the future.

Schumacher is one of the many drivers in contention for a race seat with Alpine, which will return to the WEC’s hypercar class next year with a pair of cars built to LMDh rules.

Last month, the Renault-owned brand confirmed that it was “talking with Mick about the possibility of racing in our endurance programme with the A424.”

Alpine A424 LMDh

Photo by: Alpine

Alpine A424 LMDh

A total of six seats will be available across its two cars and, although many of those will be filled internally by current Alpine drivers, the team has also been looking for some high-profile external recruits.

Alpine’s WEC chief Philippe Sinault previously told Autosport at Fuji in September that it was “too soon” to finalise its line-up for next year, because the team “needs drivers to make some tests” first before any decision can be made.

This week’s test at Jerez also saw factory-contracted Nicolas Lapierre, Charles Milesi and Andre Negrao take turns in the A424, apart from Schumacher.

The car appeared in a blue livery for the first time during the test, having previously only been seen in its pure carbon fibre form without any paint.

The A424, which will make its race debut in Qatar in March 2024, is based on next generation Oreca LMP2 chassis and runs on a 3.4 litre, single-turbo V6 engine developed in conjunction with Mecachrome. It also features a spec hybrid system, as is standard in all LMDh cars.

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