AlphaTauri boss denies Mick Schumacher rumour

It was between Mick Schumacher and Nyck de Vries to replace Pierre Gasly at AlphaTauri, but Red Bull blocked the German's move.

Outgoing AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost believes Mick Schumacher is good enough to be on the Formula 1 grid, with it having “nothing to do” with his famous surname.

Schumacher currently finds himself at Mercedes as their reserve driver, following his departure from Haas.

The Americans opted not to extend his contract at the end of 2022, leaving the German without a seat on the 2023 grid.

He was linked to AlphaTauri to replace Pierre Gasly, who was at the time unofficially known to be joining Alpine.

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The Faenza-based team ended up signing former Mercedes reserve driver Nyck de Vries instead of Schumacher, with the son of Michael Schumacher having then replaced De Vries at the Silver Arrows.

Schumacher is keen to return to the grid next season should a seat become available; however, his best bet at returning appears to be in 2025.

His only real option for next season is if Williams decide to replace rookie Logan Sargeant, who has struggled this season.

Tost is convinced that Schumacher deserves to be on the grid, with him being “better than his reputation”.

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“Mick is better than his reputation, I am convinced he has what it takes to be a very good Formula 1 driver,” Tost told SPORT 1.

“He has won the two most important junior categories, and that alone qualifies him to drive in Formula 1. And that has nothing to do with the magic of his name.”

Despite Tost having been keen to sign Schumacher to replace Gasly, AlphaTauri ended up choosing De Vries because the German was still part of Ferrari’s Driver Academy.

This caused issues for Red Bull, with the decision to sign De Vries having been made “at the highest level”.

Schumacher ended up leaving the FDA ahead of his switch to Mercedes.

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“One reason was that he was still a member of the Ferrari junior team at that time,” said Tost.

“I pointed out [when expressing interest in Schumacher] that in today’s complex Formula 1, even the greatest talents need at least three years to unleash their potential without test drives. However, the decision was made at the highest level not to take him.

“I can only hope for him to come back as a regular driver.”