It could’ve appeared as a major surprise for Mick Schumacher when he was forced to correct the erroneous statement made by a reporter who claimed that he had “officially” signed a deal with Alpine for the World Endurance Championship racing for 2024.
Mick Schumacher is currently performing reserve driver duties for Mercedes, in addition to helping the team with the F1 simulator. Since his contract with Haas ended in 2022, the 22-year-old driver has been actively seeking an F1 seat on the grid.
However, the biggest hurdle that remains ahead for him in Formula 1 is the limited options for 2024. With most teams having booked their seats for the next season, rumors suggest that Schumacher would soon sign a deal with Alpine to race in next year’s World Endurance Championship.
Alpine Interim Alpine boss Bruno Famin revealed during the Japanese Grand Prix weekend that they were talking to Schumacher but no deals have been made yet. He told Planet F1:
“We have been in discussions with Mick, but as of now, there is no official agreement in place.”
However, Austrian TV ORF commentator Ernst Hausleitner mistook Famin’s words and assumed that Schumacher had indeed been chosen by Alpine to drive the A424 for 2024.
According to F1-Insider.com, Hausleitner interviewed Schumacher when he asked:
“Mick, can we say it’s official that you’re joining Alpine in the WEC for 2024?”
Schumacher, feeling awkward and surprised, replied:
“It’s true that we’re talking with Mick about the possibility to race in our endurance programme with the A424.
“For the time being we’re just talking, and hopefully we will organise a test.”
But, Habsburg pushed it further by asking:
“Mick, now we have to change the category very briefly: Ferdinand [Habsburg, pundit] at my side was completely surprised when I told him that Mick Schumacher would drive the WEC next season. It’s official now!”
Schumacher might have thought of putting an end to the questions. He answered:
“Well, I’ll share that from my side.
“It will probably take a little more time until then. But of course I have to look at my options and of course there are talks.”
Luckily for Schumacher, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff revealed that he was open to keeping him as a reserve driver, even if he took on an outside project like the WEC with Alpine.