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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Alpine names Mick Schumacher in 2024 WEC Hypercar line-up

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Schumacher will be part of current Alpine drivers Nicolas Lapierre, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Charles Milesi, plus new recruits Ferdinand Habsburg and Paul-Loup Chatin, in its six-strong roster for 2024.

The precise mixture of drivers for the 2 automobiles, plus the ultimate official livery, will likely be revealed at a separate launch occasion on 7 February, 2024.

Schumacher strikes right into a race function following a successful maiden test with Alpine at Jerez in October, which was at all times seen as a precursor to potential alternatives with the French producer in 2024.

The German misplaced his F1 seat with Haas after two seasons between 2021-22 and spent this yr working as a reserve driver for Mercedes, a job that the crew has confirmed he’ll proceed to fulfil alongside his new Alpine place.

Schumacher’s father and seven-time F1 champion Michael competed in endurance racing with Mercedes/Sauber, earlier than making his grand prix debut with Jordan in 1991.

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“A brand new chapter is starting for me with Alpine within the FIA WEC Hypercar class,” mentioned Schumacher. 

“The automotive is spectacular, and I am unable to wait to get began. I’ve grown up with single-seaters, so driving a automotive with a closed cockpit and coated wheels is a good alternative to hone my driving abilities. 

“I sorely missed racing this yr; it is what I’ve liked to do since I used to be a child, and it was typically troublesome to observe the opposite drivers take to the monitor. 

“Endurance racing is a brand new problem for me, and I am positive we are going to share nice moments collectively subsequent yr with Alpine.”

Picture by: Alpine

Alpine A424 LMDh

Lapierre, who has an extended historical past with Signatech/Alpine and spent the 2023 season growing the A424 LMDh automotive, was at all times anticipated to drive for the crew subsequent yr.

Vaxiviere, who additionally drove for Alpine throughout its earlier Hypercar programme with the grandfathered A480 LMP1 automotive, graduates to a race seat after stepping again to the LMP2 class with Alpine this yr.

Andre Negrao, who accomplished Alpine’s earlier Hypercar line-up together with Lapierre and Vaxiviere, was curiously absent from the announcement.

Milesi drove for Alpine in LMP2 this yr, whereas Chatin was a part of the Signatech/Alpine arrange again in 2014.

Habsburg has spent the previous three seasons within the LMP2 class with WRT and was rumoured to make a transfer to Hypercar with Alpine.

Bruno Famin, VP of Alpine Motorsports, mentioned: “At this decisive part for the A424 programme, we’re proud to disclose the six drivers who will race for us within the Hypercar class in 2024.

“With Philippe Sinault, we needed drivers who aren’t solely quick and dependable, but in addition displaying an actual crew spirit and good racing acumen to finest signify the Alpine colours within the premier class of the World Endurance Championship. 

“We’re completely delighted to have these six drivers and we hope they’ll all convey their very own expertise and qualities to the challenge, for instance Charles along with his youth, Nicolas along with his expertise in endurance to mentor the youthful drivers, and likewise Mick, along with his expertise gained on the highest stage. 

“It may be his first foray into endurance, however his enthusiasm for the challenge and his will to hitch us are palpable. I’m positive he will likely be an actual asset.”

Alpine is without doubt one of the three producers becoming a member of WEC’s high class subsequent yr, together with BMW and Lamborghini.

Its A424 LMDh automotive is predicated on an ORECA LMP2 chassis and is powered by a 3.4-litre, single-turbo V6 engine developed along side Mecachrome. 

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