Mick Schumacher moves closer to racing return

Mick Schumacher has spent 2023 on the Formula 1 sidelines, serving as a reserve driver for Mercedes.

As widely expected ahead of their talks, Mercedes reserve driver Mick Schumacher has completed a test for Alpine in their A424 LMDh, which will compete in the Hypercar category in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) next year.

The test was conducted at Jerez, a circuit found in the south of Spain and is often used by F1 teams as a test venue.

It was confirmed by Signatech Alpine Endurance team principal Philippe Sinault that the German driver had participated in the test, in what was his first experience behind the wheel of a prototype.

“Mick has some interest in endurance and we had the opportunity to offer him a first experience in endurance,” Sinault told Sportscar365.

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“[It was] his first time in the car and the first time in a prototype. It’s not a question if he’s able to drive a prototype. For sure, in terms of level, but also in terms of mind, approach and spirit.”

Whether the Mercedes reserve will race for Alpine in the Hypercar category next season is unconfirmed; however, given that he’s taken part in a test shows that there is some interest from both parties.

What this will mean for his duties with the Silver Arrows is also unknown, given that Alpine also have an F1 outfit, who were linked to the driver last season following the announcement of Fernando Alonso’s departure.

Esteban Ocon reportedly wanted the Enstone-based team to sign Schumacher, rather than Pierre Gasly.

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Schumacher, of course, went onto be released by Haas at the end of the 2022 campaign, as the Americans opted to sign Nico Hulkenberg rather than give the son of Michael Schumacher a new contract.

The 24-year-old did cost Haas an incredible amount of money in repairs last season, following heavy shunts in Saudi Arabia and Monaco where his car split into two.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was very quick to snap up Schumacher after he was released by Haas, with the Austrian rating the German very highly.

Wolff, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have all been very impressed by Schumacher’s work; however, he ultimately wants to be on the F1 grid.

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This isn’t set to happen until 2025 at the earliest, as Williams are expected to retain Logan Sargeant.

It appears that his best bet to return to the F1 grid will come in 2026, when Audi enter the championship at the start of the new power unit regulations.

Until then, racing for Alpine in the WEC would keep him sharp, whilst he could arguably continue with his Mercedes reserve role, given that other reserve drivers tend to race in other championships alongside their F1 duties.