Mick Schumacher has stated that, if Haas needs him, he’s ready to stand in for Romain Grosjean at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
After his horror crash in Bahrain, the Frenchman is to miss the next race, and it’s unclear as to whether he’ll be fit for the final one of the year.
With Schumacher now confirmed as a Haas driver for next season, the American team could have the German take his place if not, and he says he’s ready to do so.
“It’s great if you are considered to be ready to do that, I feel like I am,” he said.
“Obviously you have three free practices which you have time to learn [in]. It would be a challenge but definitely, I think I would be able to get to know the car more to be even better prepared for next year.”
Team principal Guenther Steiner however, says that the number one priority is for Grosjean to drive himself, and he is therefore not thinking about alternatives.
“At the moment the status is I want to see where Romain is on Monday. That’s what I agreed with him. I don’t even entertain any replacement or anything,” he said.
“We have got enough drivers on standby that can drive so I’m not worried about it and we just take that decision [if] we know 100% that Romain cannot drive. If he can finish his time with Haas in a race, that’s what I would like, not just watching it. That is our aim.
“That is what we spoke with him. I said I fully support that you want to go out on a high and he said if I can do it that is what I want to do. Therefore I am quite regimental on that one. We are not deciding anything before we know that he can definitely not drive.”
Congrats Jack, Williams & Mercedes. A choice based on pure performance. It’s nice to see a team with respect to its drivers. https://t.co/jfDO4gWClK
— Louis Delétraz (@LouisDeletraz) December 2, 2020
After Grosjean’s horror crash, it was clear that Haas would most likely have to call up a reserve driver to replace him for the next race.
Fittipaldi was chosen over Louis Deletraz and the latter made his feelings clear with a not-so-subtle swipe at Haas in a tweet congratulating Jack Aitken for being called up by Williams.
Unsurprisingly, Steiner isn’t particularly sympathetic, or impressed.
“I saw that he’s very unhappy but there is for sure a lot of other unhappy people which wanted that seat. So he’s just one of them. Join the queue,” he said. as per The Race.
“I think when we decided to put Pietro in – like I said before, he deserves it. I asked him specifically to come out here because I was more scared of a corona case, so, I need to have a back-up here. And he did it.
“Being away from home with no assurance that he would do anything for three weeks is not good. He did it, he made the effort, and he would have been there anytime.
“I can decide these things and I’m not going out for a vote or to debate it with anybody. This was our plan, this is what we did. And by the way, I don’t have to ask anybody who to put in the car, not even Deletraz.”