Mick Schumacher has told Ferrari that he will be ready to step up and race for them in a one-off capacity should Carlos Sainz or Charles Leclerc miss a race.
The 23-year-old made his debut with Haas last season alongside fellow rookie Nikita Mazepin, and managed a best finish of 13th at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Russian has since been sacked amid his country’s invasion of Ukraine, and Schumacher has been joined instead by the experienced Kevin Magnussen, who returned after a year away racing in IMSA.
The Dane, who scored a podium on his debut with McLaren in 2014, will be a much betterbenchmark to Schumacher than Mazepin was.
Team principal Guenther Steiner has recently affirmed that “it means something” if he is able to out-perform Magnussen, who spent four years with Haas in his previous spell.
It ultimately could well mean a call-up to the team with whom his father Michael won five of his seven championships, and of which he joined the junior programme in 2019.
He has himself previously spoken about his aspirations of one day sitting in the famous red car, but his feet are on the ground.
“It would be nice to sit in a Ferrari one day, but my main focus is clearly on Haas,” Schumacher told Sky Sports Germany.
“Nevertheless, if they need support, of course I’m there.”
In light of the recent positive COVID-19 tests for Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel, the conversation has arisen as to whether drivers should be allowed to race with the virus as long as their symptoms are mild.
With Nico Hulkenberg deputising for Vettel at last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix – and confirmation that he will do so agan in Saudi Arabia – it also provokes the consideration of what happens if Sainz or Leclerc catch coronavirus and Ferrari need a replacement.
Schumacher became test and reserve driver for the Scuderia alongside former Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi ahead of the 2022 season, and he is perennially prepared for the call.
“I’d be ready anytime. I’m a racing driver, just like everybody else,” he told RacingNews365.com
“I think that our car is quite similar. We have the same power unit and we have some parts which are the same.
Haas buy numerous parts from Ferrari to put onto their own car, and therefore the German reckons – having driven the Ferrari before – he would be well placed to settle in quickly.
“I feel that this car is quite aligned with what is happening over there,” he explained.
“I know the car already, since 2019. It’s not too far away from how we run our car.”
Were Schumacher to head to Ferrari for a one-off appearance, Pietro Fittipaldi would be first in line to take his vacant spot at Haas.