Alpine has revealed they will need to find a reserve driver to potentially cover for Mick Schumacher due to a “clear contract” in place with Mercedes.
After seeing his options to return to the F1 grid in 2024 dwindle away one by one, Schumacher has signed up for a full WEC season with Alpine alongside his continuing reserve driver role with the Mercedes F1 team.
And, in that juggling of duties, it is Mercedes who have the power to recall him should there be a situation where Lewis Hamilton or George Russell are not able to race. If that clashes with the WEC programme, Alpine would need to find a replacement.
The Mick Schumacher agreement is “clear”
As to the who that reserve option is for Alpine’s WEC programme, well that is unclear at this stage, but Alpine vice president Bruno Famin believes they will have no problem whatsoever in finding one.
Famin told DailySportsCar: “The contract is clear, the agreement with Mick is clear, if he has the opportunity to drive in Formula 1 to replace George or Lewis, he will go to Formula One.”
“A reserve driver will be known in due time. We will have one. From among the Alpine Endurance family if we have a problem, we will find easily a reserve driver.”
Why did Alpine choose Mick Schumacher for their endurance programme?
Famin went on to say that bringing in Mick Schumacher was too good an opportunity to be missed, feeling that Mick’s talent has been “underestimated” in F1 since his opening spell with Haas.
Mick Schumacher’s experience and racing brain made him the perfect candidate for Alpine.
“What he can bring to the team is his experience of the very very high level of competition,” Famin explained.
“Endurance is becoming now a very high-level discipline because we have so many manufacturers with very high-level line-ups and engineers I think it’s really becoming with the BoP to come with very good drivers.
“It is not only about fast drivers, it is about drivers who will manage the tyres for one, two three stints and will take care of the car for his teammate, who be happy to make some compromise to ensure the best performance across all the three drivers.
“But having Mick bringing his experience to a very high level. He is still a Mercedes reserve driver and he has a very long and a good experience of what is a top-level Formula 1 team.
“He has two full seasons with Haas and he will bring us some ideas and methodologies to help put the bar higher for sure – which is what we want.
“I think he’s a very, very clever guy, a very well educated guy. And I have absolutely no doubt about his capacity to share the car with his teammates.
“I’m convinced that in Formula 1 he is underestimated. Because I think he’s a very good driver, a very fast driver.
“Don’t forget he has been the F2 champion and F3 champion. He has a lot of very good skills and having the opportunity to have such a fast and good driver.
“I don’t see why we would have missed it.”