Mick Schumacher should move to ‘better team’ Williams, says Emerson Fittipaldi

Michelle Foster
Mick Schumacher up close. Silverstone July 2022

Haas driver Mick Schumacher up close. Silverstone July 2022

With Nyck de Vries off to AlphaTauri and Nicholas Latifi out of Formula 1, Emerson Fittipaldi says Mick Schumacher should snap up the vacant Williams seat instead of staying with Haas.

Although Haas team boss Guenther Steiner said there was a “50-50” chance for Schumacher to retain his seat for a third successive season, Haas’ comments this week are hinting at anything but.

Team owner Gene Haas told the Associated Press the driver’s crashes are outweighing his points, three crashes to two top-10 finishes.

“I think Mick has a lot of potential,” said the American. “But you know he costs a fortune and he’s wrecked a lot of cars that have cost us a lot of money that we just don’t have.”

A day later, Steiner spoke of his appreciation for Daniel Ricciardo as a driver, adding he would be a “big hit” at Haas and that if the Australian is “interested in us, he’s not shy to call me up”.

None of that makes good reading for Schumacher, but that does not necessarily mean he is out of Formula 1.

Williams team boss Jost Capito recently talked up the German, saying he is “definitely an option” for their vacant seat.

Double former World Champion Fittipaldi says the 23-year-old should go for it, even going as far as to call Williams a “better team”.

“For sure Mick Schumacher could be in a better team because Williams are getting better,” he told Vegas Insider. “They have the potential to improve.

“It could be a very good team for Mick for the future if that happened because the team are ready to go to the next level very soon.”

Nyck de Vries appears to be in thought inside the Williams garage. Italy, September 2022.

AlphaTauri is a ‘good team’ for De Vries

As for De Vries’ decision to join AlphaTauri, the ex-Formula E champion having called up Red Bull motorsport adviser Helmut Marko after his points-scoring Italian Grand Prix debut, Fittipaldi says “it’s a very good decision”.

He added: “He’s in a very good team under Franz Tost. It’s a very special team. They love racing.

“He was very impressive in his race with Williams and I’m sure he’ll be looking towards racing with AlphaTauri next season.

“I’m sure he will be looking for good results, no doubt about it.”

De Vries scored two points on his Formula 1 debut, the Dutchman racing his way to ninth place on a weekend when he outqualified Latifi and then beat him in the grand prix.

Formula 1 needs ‘more teams’

De Vries will be one of at least two rookies on next year’s grid, the other confirmed being Oscar Piastri who is joining McLaren.

Fittipaldi’s grandson Pietro has not been as lucky, knocking on the Haas door for years but without any luck.

Conceding Formula 1 is “missing more teams”, Fittipaldi is at least looking forward to seeing Pietro in action in FP1 at the United States Grand Prix.

“I think Pietro, it is good for his career to keep testing,” he said. “He’s very fast. He’s a very talented driver.

“And testing will help him show his talent. He’s been driving and practising very good. I’m very happy.

“He will give information to the team and that will help them improve the car.

“I’m sure Kevin [Magnussen] will support Pietro for sure.

“To have someone like Magnussen next to you for help is great. I’m sure Pietro will be very excited for the opportunity.

“And we need more F1 teams for these young talents – more seats and more opportunities available.”