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Schumacher can stay Mercedes F1 reserve amid Alpine WEC hyperlinks

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European F3 and FIA F2 champion Schumacher was dropped by the Haas F1 team on the finish of 2022 owing to a brace of seven-figure car-splitting crashes that compelled the group to desert upgrades to satisfy its budgets.

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

Autosport understands that the French sportscar marque desires a big-name signing to steer its fledgling programme, though an announcement on the driving force line-up is unlikely to land till October.

Mercedes motorsport boss Wolff mentioned that Schumacher signing for Alpine wouldn’t have to finish his relationship with the group since he’s “a part of the household” and “will at all times have a house.”

Wolff mentioned: “Mick has a spot right here as our reserve driver and is a part of the household.

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“We hope that he stays with us in that position. We’ll give him time within the automobile and he can get a works seat with one other producer in WEC or sportscars or wherever.

“We’ll at all times have this house right here for him.

Mick Schumacher, Mercedes F1

Photograph by: Pirelli

“No matter programme he does resolve, he can keep, whether it is attainable from the opposite aspect, with us as a reserve driver.”

Wolff and drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have been extraordinarily complimentary concerning the work Schumacher has completed within the simulator all through 2023.

Particularly, they credited the son of seven-time F1 champion Michael with their in a single day turnaround on the British GP in July by which Hamilton completed on the rostrum.

Whereas a front-line F1 return is the precedence for Schumacher, just one seat is realistically obtainable on the grid for subsequent season now that Alfa Romeo has confirmed an unchanged line-up of Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu.

AlphaTauri faces a alternative between retaining Yuki Tsunoda for a fourth time period and selling Liam Lawson after his spectacular substitute appearances at Zandvoort, Monza and Singapore. Daniel Ricciardo is very prone to safe the opposite seat on the Crimson Bull sister squad.

That may solely go away a berth at Williams alongside Alex Albon, ought to the Grove outfit not renew the companies of American rookie Logan Sargeant.

As a part of the Mercedes roster, Schumacher can be a reserve driver for McLaren.

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

Further reporting by Gary Watkins 

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