Mick Schumacher has admitted “time is running out” for him to secure a seat and a return to Formula 1 in 2024.
The German lost a permanent spot on the grid last year when Haas opted to not extend his deal, instead moving to secure the signature of Nico Hülkenberg, a man they have just given another contract to.
Facing a future out of the sport, Schumacher took up Mercedes’ offer of a reserve role but has been itching to get back into a full-time seat.
Mick Schumacher admits time is against in him in race for an F1 seat
With nine races to go, it is coming to the point of the season where teams look to the future. Already many constructors will be parking their development of their 2023 car, instead focusing on their next year’s contender but it is not just future cars that need sorting out.
2024 is shaping up to be one of the quietest ‘silly seasons’ in recent F1 history as plenty of teams look to have already sorted out their plans.
Haas confirmed both Hulk and Kevin Magnussen would remain with them for 2024 while Red Bull, Alpine, McLaren, Aston Martin and Ferrari have drivers contracted until at least the end of next season.
That leaves the likes of Schumacher wondering where they may get an opening.
The most questionable seats would be those of Daniel Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton, Zhou Guanyu and Yuki Tsunoda who all face some doubts as to whether they will be with the same teams next year but none of those would be a natural home for Schumacher.
If Mercedes were to lose Hamilton, it is unlikely they would opt to give a relatively inexperienced driver the seat while a move to AlphaTauri seems just as improbable.
It seems Schumacher himself has come to this realisation, telling Sky Sports Germany that “time is running out.”
“I can’t name a timeline yet,” he said of his future. “I’m still working. Time is running out a little but I have to take my time.”
At 24, it would not be a disaster were he to sit out another season but as a driver with a point to prove, Schumacher will no doubt want to be back racing as soon as possible.
An opportunity could arise with Williams should the Grove outfit decide to part ways with Logan Sargeant.