Mick Schumacher Wants Out From Ferrari F1: Report
The second-gen racer was once touted as a future Ferrari works driver. Now he’s simply trying to remain in F1.
Ferrari protege Mick Schumacher is expected to cut ties with the Italian team in order to become a free agent at the end of the 2022 Formula 1 season, according to Autosport. The second-generation racing driver has been part of the Ferrari Driver Academy for several years, but is reportedly looking to break the affiliation to keep his F1 career alive. Schumacher has yet to confirm a seat for the 2023 season.
Ferrari took the young driver under its wing in 2019 due to his stellar performance in the junior series, as team principal Mattia Binotto has said before. It's impossible to ignore the ties between Maranello and the Schumacher family, so that's certainly played a role, too. Not only has the Scuderia provided Schumacher with job placement, but also financial support through the feeder series and plenty of training via its academy—which is what originally made him somewhat of a valuable commodity in F1.
However, Schumacher's status isn't what it once was, and he may now need to break ties with Ferrari in order to find a seat—any seat—without Maranello's approval. That could mean Alpine, Williams, or even AlphaTauri. It's unlikely that Alfa Romeo could extend him a helping hand at this point in the year, so in reality, Ferrari isn't doing much for him at present anyway.
Schumacher's current team, Haas F1, has yet to announce its '23 lineup, so Autosport's report remains unconfirmed. There's a chance Schumacher could excel over the remaining races of the year and secure a contract extension, though at this point it's highly unlikely Haas management would be persuaded by a sudden improvement. Should it happen, however, Schumacher wouldn't just be able to race with a familiar squad for another season, but also retain his partnership with Ferrari.
Haas F1 team principal Guenther Steiner has made it public that the German's performance hasn't met expectations this season. The second-generation racer failed to score any championship points until the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, followed by another points-scoring position in Austria. He currently sits 15th in the drivers' championship with 12 points while his teammate Kevin Magnussen sits in 11th with 22.
It'll be interesting to follow this situation through the next few races. The remaining vacant seats will slowly but surely be filled, and there's a good chance that more than one current driver will be left without a ride in 2023. While there's something nice about having a Schumacher involved with Ferrari, it's certainly in the youngster's best interest to find a seat soon, Maranello's blessing be damned.
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