Former Formula 1 driver, and uncle of Haas driver Mick Schumacher, Ralf, has said that his nephew could be in line for a seat with Alpine for 2023.
Alpine are currently looking to put someone else in the car alongside Esteban Ocon following the announcement of Fernando Alonso’s departure at the end of this season.
The Spaniard had initially not disclosed that he had signed a deal with another team, given that his contract with the French side is up at the end of this season.
However, a day into the summer break, Aston Martin issued a press release confirming that the double world champion had signed with them to replace Sebastian Vettel, who is set to retire.
Alpine would then announce the promotion of reserve driver Oscar Piastri, but he took to social media to deny this, as he appears to have made a deal with McLaren to replace Daniel Ricciardo.
Logic might suggest that this move would see the 33-year-old move back to Enstone, but Schumacher feels there are plenty more options, including another of their former drivers – Nico Hulkenberg, who is currently serving as Aston Martin’s reserve driver.
“The names are there, with every cockpit, Mick has also not yet signed a contract,” Ralf told Sky Germany.
“Therefore, he would be a candidate, a candidate with speed, as you have seen.
“Nico Hulkenberg is also still in the starting blocks, and then there is the question of Daniel Ricciardo.
“Personally, I can’t imagine that he would get another chance in Formula 1, but I don’t know who Alpine should take at the moment.”
The six-time race winner believes that Alpine have mismanaged the Piastri situation, as they were waiting on an Alonso decision on his contract before loaning out the 21-year-old.
They believed their conundrum had been sorted when Alonso decided to leave, but they had taken too long deciding Piastri’s future after giving the double world champion what he felt was an unsatisfactory offer.
Therefore, Schumacher feels that the Enstone-based outfit have thrown away a promising young talent in Piastri, whom the German does not blame for looking elsewhere.
“One thing was clear: Alpine had no interest at the beginning of putting Piastri in the car next year, because you have seen that young drivers need a certain amount of time,” explained the former F1 driver,” added Schumacher.
“They wanted to accommodate him somewhere else for one to two years, there was an option on the part of Alpine to [sign him for 2023], but this was not exercised because Fernando Alonso was not expected to leave.
“If you have such a jewel, it is criminal to let it go, if you are not able to design the contracts correctly yourself, then you cannot blame the young man.
“One thing must not be forgotten: Piastri’s manager Mark Webber has a very, very close connection to McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl.”
Webber worked with Seidl at the Porsche LMP1 team between 2014 and 2016 when Webber raced for the side with the German as team principal.
Seidl went on to become team principal of McLaren at the start of 2019, taking over from Eric Boullier.