Since the shock announcement of Sebastian Vettel’s retirement from Formula One what should have been a relatively quite ‘silly season’ in the driver market has exploded. Before this and McLaren ditching Daniel Ricciardo the only seats realistically up for grabs would have been at Haas and Williams given both Mick SCHUMACHER and Nicholas Latifi were out of contract.
Of course the drama of Alonso then quitting Alpine to replace Vettel at Aston Martin then meant a whole host of driver moves became a reality.
In recent weeks Mick Schumacher’s F1 future has been front and centre in the news, particularly as Haas haven’t progressed contract negotiations with the German driver.
Gunther Steiner has hardly been euphoric about retaining Schumacher’s services for 2023. His most recent comments on Mick’s future came the week before the Singapore GP.
“I’ll be honest, we don’t know if Mick will stay or not. He has delivered very good races in Canada, Britain and Austria. But he lacks consistency – he would have to deliver strong performances more often. We are not in a hurry regarding the driver question and Mick still has chances to show what he can do.”
Yet it appears Schumacher will be thrown a lifeline.
It was badly kept secret until late September that Williams driver Nicholas Latifi would be leaving the team, which was confirmed prior to the Singapore GP.
This of course leaves a vacant seat at the Grove based outfit and with Schumacher out of contract in 5 races time team boss Jost Capito appears to have thrown Mick a lifeline.
When asked about the possibility about Schumacher becoming a Williams driver, Capito told RTL, “Yes, of course,” he replied.
“Mick is an option, he also deserves to stay in Formula 1. We’ll see if that happens, but he’s definitely an option for us.”
Capito smiled when asked about the Schumacher name driving a Williams car and said, “That would certainly be charming.”
The Williams boss believes in Schumacher’s potential and reckons he could “really move forward and be a very good driver in Formula 1”.
“He is now in his second year, if you look at George Russell, he made mistakes in his second year at Williams and still developed.”
Mick scored his first F1 points at the British GP and followed that up with a more than respectable P6 a week later in Austria.
“Formula 1 is very complex and the step from Formula 2 is so big because the cars are so complex and technically more demanding. You have to learn that, you have to give a driver two years to get there and show what he can do in the third year,” Capito continued.
American driver Logan Sergeant is on the list for Williams too bt his super license qualification depends on him finishing P5 or higher in the current F2 championship.
Given that it is the worst kept secret in the paddock that Gasly will leave Alpha Tauri and be replaced by Nyck de Vries, it appears the Williams boss public expressions of enthusiasm for Mick Schumacher are the lifeline he needs to continue his F1 career.
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