Bernie Ecclestone makes Mick Schumacher declaration involving Red Bull

Henry Valantine
Mick Schumacher Mercedes seat fitting. Photo courtesy of Mercedes

Mick Schumacher Mercedes seat fitting. Photo courtesy of Mercedes

Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone believes Mick Schumacher would have been in “good hands” in Red Bull’s junior programme.

Schumacher came through Ferrari’s Driver Academy on his way to the Formula 2 title before making it onto the F1 grid with Haas, staying on the grid for two seasons before the team opted for experienced hands in Nico Hulkenberg in 2023.

But in not going through Red Bull’s ranks, the former F1 supremo believes it “spoilt a lot of things” for Schumacher, given their track record of success.

Bernie Ecclestone: Mick Schumacher would have been in ‘good hands’ at Red Bull

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

Schumacher has signed up for a dual role in 2024, continuing as reserve driver at Mercedes while having signed for Alpine to join the burgeoning Hypercar class in the World Endurance Championship.

He has made no secret of his desire to return to the F1 grid, however, and Ecclestone weighed in to offer his belief that heading to Red Bull would have been a better move early on in his career.

“He would have been in good hands in a team like Red Bull with its junior programme, where they help young drivers to win. That spoilt a lot of things for him,” Ecclestone told the Deutschen Presse-Agentur [German Press Agency], quoted by Sky Deutschland.

“If his father had been there with him, he could have had a completely different influence on him.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

F1 points all-time rankings: Where do Hamilton, Alonso and Verstappen feature?

Ranked: The 10 best modern racing documentaries to watch

As for Schumacher himself, however, he is ready to get back on track after his first year on the sidelines since he was a child – and his chance with Alpine represents a chance to show his talents again.

When discussing his plans for the season ahead, the German said Mercedes were keen to see him keep up his racing this year alongside his reserve duties, but reiterated that Formula 1 remains his ultimate goal in future.

“I think for [Mercedes], it was very important for me to be to be back on the grid and race, [stay] up to date and I think that that’s one of the really important parts of this,” Schumacher told media including PlanetF1.com in Abu Dhabi.

“Formula 1 has always been the dream and it will always remain the dream.

“So whenever I get the chance to come back, I’ll make sure I grab it with both hands and prove it to everybody, but there’s no reason for me to stay here, not race [and] fall behind everybody.

“I’d rather go out there, find something to race and develop my skills.

“If at the end that leads [with] no way back to Formula 1 but leads to another career, then I’m happy to do that.”

Read next: Michael Schumacher’s 10 iconic Formula 1 grand prix victories