Ex-Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone believes Mick Schumacher needs to “forget” his famous surname and instead “develop as a person”, if he wants to return to the pinnacle of motorsport.
After racing for Haas in 2021 and 2022, Schumacher was released by the American team at the conclusion of his second season.
Haas failed to offer the 24-year-old a new contract and instead opted to sign the experienced Nico Hulkenberg, who went onto perform well in 2023.
Schumacher just made too many mistakes which cost Haas a significant amount of money, something they simply couldn’t afford to continue.
After losing his seat, Schumacher was offered the reserve driver role at Mercedes, which he quickly snapped up.
Unfortunately, this was his only position this year, resulting in minimal track time.
He will continue as Mercedes’ reserve driver in 2024 but he will at least be racing in the World Endurance Championship (WEC), after accepting a seat in Alpine’s Hypercar programme.
As good a seat as this is, Schumacher’s goal is to get back into F1, something Ecclestone believes is possible if he can “deliver good performances”.
Ecclestone also thinks the young German hasn’t been managed correctly so far in his career, with the ex-F1 supremo believing that Red Bull would’ve done a better job with him.
“He has to fight, he has to stick with it and show that he is still in a position to deliver good performances,” Ecclestone told Sport.de.
“The people will then find him, and he doesn’t have to find the people who offer him the opportunity to race.
“In the best-case scenario, people will see him and say: We need him. And not the other way around: he is looking for someone who will take him in because of his name.
“He should forget his name and develop as a person.
“At Red Bull, for example, he would have been better understood, they would have helped him and led him up.
As for his move to the WEC, Ecclestone thinks it’s the “best thing” for Schumacher currently, as it gives him a chance to “show himself” in a good light.
If he can perform well in the endurance series, then it could make some F1 teams consider signing the driver.
“That’s probably the only and best thing he can do at the moment,” Ecclestone admitted.
“It’s good that he can show himself, ideally with good performances. Then it could happen that those responsible in Formula 1 rethink and say: ‘Maybe we made a mistake. “We’ll try again.
“The difficult question is: How and when?”