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. / Sky) about Schumacher's Haas. "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?
Vettel wishes "a little more drive"
"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 one is judged very quickly by the last 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 there too."
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.
Case Piastri pioneering?
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 like to drive with Mick Schumacher. We are friends, I think a lot of him," said the Frenchman, whose current teammate Alonso at Aston Martin will succeed Vettel.
Ocon admitted that he did not exactly know Schumacher's contractual situation. "But as I understand it, he hasn't signed anything for 2023," said Ocon. "So I said to my people: Let's get Mick."