Mick Schumacher looks in desperate need of a seat elsewhere in Formula 1, as a new candidate has entered the picture for the second Haas F1 Team seat for 2023.
It was announced that former Alfa Romeo F1 driver and current Ferrari reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi, will drive for Haas in FP1 at the Italian and United States Grand Prix’s.
Giovinazzi is a strong candidate for the seat due to his experience in F1; however, he performed poorly in Formula E this year after being dumped by Alfa Romeo in 2021.
His shock sessions for Haas, though, prove that Ferrari still consider the Italian highly, opening up the possibility that he could be in line to race for Haas next season.
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner is “looking forward” to seeing Giovinazzi behind the wheel, with Ferrari “keen” to see what the Italian can do.
“Ferrari were keen to give Antonio some seat time in a current-spec Formula 1 car on a race weekend and we were naturally happy to assist,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to seeing Antonio again and having him back in the paddock with us.”
The pressure is clearly mounting on Schumacher, with his relationship with the team rumoured to be breaking down.
Moving to the Alpine F1 Team may end up being his only option should he want to stay in the paddock; however, Daniel Ricciardo is the favourite for that seat.
Former F1 driver Timo Glock doesn’t see any reason why the Haas driver should be worried despite everything, with the German confident that the 23-year-old will have a place on the grid next year.
“He really showed very good racing on the weekends before the summer break,” he told Sky Deutschland.
“You can see a development now and as long as that development is there, it is very positive. That’s why I’m convinced that we will see Mick in Formula 1 again in 2023.
“We’ll have to wait and see where that will be – I’m curious myself.”
According to Sport1, Sebastian Vettel who has acted as a ‘mentor’ to Schumacher, has told his German compatriot to leave the Ferrari academy.
Should Schumacher join Alpine then he’ll most likely need to leave the academy, which then leaves a seat at Haas.
The question is, though, do Haas go with a Ferrari-backed driver, or someone with strong finances?
Schumacher has not only Ferrari support as part of the academy, but also financial backing.
This could save Schumacher his seat at the American team, depending on the true financial situation at the side.
“The question is whether Haas is interested in a contract extension with Mick or maybe needs a pilot who brings money with him,” Glock added.
“Remember, Haas lost a strong financier in Nikita Mazepin, so the question of the financial situation there is a question mark.
“That could be critical for Mick’s future.”
Some have questioned if Schumacher is being compared too much to his father, seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher.
With the German under immense pressure to exceed Ferrari’s expectations, it would be understandable if he were to falter more often.
However, he’s proven to be “mentally” strong, after bouncing back from huge crashes earlier in the season.
Glock certainly rates Schumacher highly and can see the potential he has.
“Uncertainty can of course affect a driver, but it also shows how strong a driver is mentally,” said Glock.
“What we’ve seen lately that Mick is very well positioned there. He didn’t let himself be put off. Even if the points weren’t there at first, he waited for his chance.”
Whilst Ricciardo is the favourite for the seat at Alpine, the rumours surrounding Schumacher to the team might just be stronger than originally believed.
It’s been discovered that Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi and the Haas driver follow each other on Instagram, with many wondering if it’s a sign of a potential signing.
Glock doesn’t believe “too much” should be read into it; however, he admitted that it could a sign of potential “conversations”.
“I wouldn’t read too much into that,” said Glock.
“Maybe it’s a small indication that they’re having conversations.
“I don’t see a date by which it has to be decided – it just depends on how long the negotiations last. If he is negotiating and they’re in agreement, it can happen quickly.”