F1 News: Mick Schumacher’s 2023 options
Mick Schumacher is still working to secure a contract extension to keep his F1 career alive, with several seats still available.
There is no guarantee Schumacher will be offered a contract, but the 23-year-old is reportedly on the shortlists of numerous teams regarding a 2023 seat.
Haas F1 Team
The first option is his current team, Haas, who remains tight-lipped about who will drive alongside Kevin Magnussen in 2023.
Guenther Steiner has explained that Schumacher needs to produce consistently strong performances to achieve a new contract as the team assesses his level.
Schumacher has progressed this year, dramatically reducing the pace deficit to his more experienced Danish teammate.
However, Guenther Steiner’s comments in recent weeks indicate that Schumacher has still not done enough to earn a new contract, so Schumacher must continue proving himself as the year progresses.
Nico Hulkenberg has emerged as a legitimate candidate to replace Schumacher next season, so the Singapore GP and rounds following it will be crucial.
Still, of all Schumacher’s 2023 options, Haas seems the most viable.
Williams has yet to decide its lineup for next season, with only Alex Albon confirmed at the Grove-based squad for next year.
Schumacher’s main obstacle at Williams is the team’s general aversion to risk, rarely making aggressive moves in the driver market in recent years.
This puts the drivers currently affiliated with the British team in a far better position.
Nyck de Vries has put himself in contention following his phenomenal performance on such short notice at the Italian GP, but many others are being considered.
Williams academy driver Logan Sargeant has been extremely impressive as a rookie in Formula 2 and is on track to secure the necessary Super License points to become a viable option.
There is undeniably an element of risk associated with the American prospect, so Schumacher could present a lower-risk option for Williams if they wish to evaluate Sargeant further in Formula 2 next season.
Jost Capito has also spoken highly of Schumacher and mentioned him as a contender, but the 23-year-old remains an outside choice to join the Grove-based team.
The only other team without a fully confirmed 2023 lineup is Alpine, whose summer has consisted of a very public collapse in relations with junior driver Oscar Piastri.
Failing to retain Alonso and Piastri means the French squad is in uncharted territory, searching the market for the best available options.
Given their current position in the standings, Alpine is a highly sought-after destination, so Schumacher will be among the likes of Pierre Gasly vying to secure a deal with the French squad.
Gasly seems the favourite to join the Enstone team, though complications with Colton Herta’s Super License could prevent the Frenchman from switching away from Alpha Tauri.
This could place Schumacher in contention, though it must be noted that Otmar Szafnauer has frequently mentioned Alpine’s “14 driver shortlist” for next season, so the sheer volume of Schumacher’s opposition cannot be overlooked.
Schumacher is expected to take part in a test with Alpine prior to the Singapore GP, but it is impossible to say whether he is considered a priority.
The next step?
It cannot be denied that Schumacher’s start to the season was sub-par, with significant crashes and a general lack of pace characterising his first few rounds.
However, he has taken considerable steps forward since then and is establishing himself as a far more safe option for teams next season.
The youngster has failed to demonstrate the pace to be considered a generational talent but has proven increasingly capable of holding his own in the midfield.