Mercedes tipped to strike rival ‘deal’ in fresh Mick Schumacher twist

Jamie Woodhouse
Mercedes reserve driver Mick Schumacher checks his messages at the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix.

Mercedes reserve driver Mick Schumacher checks his messages.

Former F1 driver turned pundit Franck Montagny has tipped recently-departed Mercedes chief technical officer Mike Elliott to join Alpine, taking Mick Schumacher with him.

In the lead-up to the Brazilian Grand Prix, Mercedes announced that Elliott had departed the team, bringing an end to his 11-year association with the Brackley squad.

He did so with no plans for where his career would go from next, but could it involve Alpine, with Schumacher also making the move?

Mike Elliott and Mick Schumacher to Alpine?

Schumacher has served as Mercedes reserve driver through F1 2023, following Haas’ decision to drop him from their line-up at the end of last season. There is potentially another project on the cards though outside of Formula 1, that being Alpine’s World Endurance Championship programme.

The German racer recently completed his first test in Alpine’s LMDh car, ahead of a potential 2024 drive in the WEC hypercar class, so with Alpine potentially shaping up as Schumacher’s next move, could the same be true for Elliott?

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Montagny, who works as a pundit for French broadcaster Canal+, has tipped this scenario to come to pass.

“We know that [Mercedes team principal Toto] Wolff is very, very keen to put Schumacher in a car, we know that he could potentially race in WEC for Alpine, and they’re in the middle of recruiting at Alpine,” said Montagny, quoted by GPFans.

“I’ve got a feeling that there’s going to be a little deal between the two teams. I’d hazard a little guess, so I’d bet a little money on the arrival of Elliott at Alpine with Schumacher.”

Schumacher had earlier in the season been linked with a switch to Williams for F1 2024 after American rookie Logan Sargeant struggled to impress alongside Alex Albon.

That door has since closed though, with Williams determined to bring Sargeant on form and offer him a second campaign on the F1 grid.

With Sargeant’s seat the only one not yet officially confirmed for 2024 but effectively filled, it means Schumacher needs to look elsewhere if he is to race next year, Wolff having kept the door open for Schumacher to continue in his reserve role alongside a programme away from F1.

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