Nico Hulkenberg, the winner of the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours, has asserted that a seat in the prestigious endurance race is “no replacement” for the thrill and challenge of Formula 1.
Hulkenberg’s comments come in the wake of Alpine’s announcement that they are in discussions with Mick Schumacher about a seat in the Renault-owned team’s new prototype project in world endurance racing.
With Logan Sargeant, Felipe Drugovich, and the possibility of Liam Lawson all vying for the remaining race seat on the F1 grid for the upcoming season, Schumacher’s Formula 1 hopes appear to be dwindling.
Speaking about Mick Schumacher’s situation, his uncle Ralf Schumacher expressed his belief that Mick would perform better than Logan Sargeant, who is among the contenders for the F1 seat.
Ralf Schumacher shared his disappointment that Mick, who currently serves as the reserve driver for Mercedes, is looking beyond Formula 1 to maintain his racing career.
Ralf Schumacher remarked, “I think the circumstances under which Mick got into Formula 1 were extremely bad.
“Year one was with another rookie in a car that said Formula 1 on it, but it wasn’t really a Formula 1 car.”
He continued, “Ralf says Mick was then ‘too weak’ initially in year two at Haas, and also with a team ‘that wasn’t necessarily behind him – especially the team boss’.”
Acknowledging the tough competition for available F1 seats, Ralf Schumacher conceded that Mick is unlikely to secure the vacant Williams ride, suggesting that Felipe Drugovich has a significant financial advantage in the race for that seat.
Nico Hulkenberg, who had a brief stint racing in both F1 and the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2015, offered his perspective on Mick Schumacher’s potential move to world endurance racing.
Hulkenberg emphasised that while world endurance racing is an appealing alternative, it should not be viewed as a substitute for Formula 1.
Hulkenberg stated, “It’s an alternative, but there is no replacement for F1.
“The WEC is a great series, but of course, it is one step behind Formula 1 in terms of importance.”