Mick Schumacher’s F1 return plan reignites with Paul Ricard test confirmed

Thomas Maher
Mick Schumacher and Jack Doohan, Alpine, 2024.

Alpine WEC driver Mick Schumacher and F1 reserve Jack Doohan will both test a 2022 Alpine F1 car in early July.

Alpine has confirmed Mick Schumacher for a test in an older F1 car, with reserve driver Jack Doohan also set to take part in the ‘shoot-out’.

With at least one seat up for grabs at Alpine following the confirmed departure of Esteban Ocon at the end of this season, the Enstone-based squad is set to evaluate two drivers in a same-day test at Paul Ricard next week.

Alpine to test Mick Schumacher and Jack Doohan

Heading along to the French circuit are Alpine’s current reserve driver Jack Doohan, as well as Mercedes junior Mick Schumacher – the German driver having a close association with Alpine as he currently drives for the marque in its World Endurance Championship programme.

The identity of Alpine’s driver line-up is now one of the most talked-about in F1, with Carlos Sainz having emerged as a contender for a seat with the team as his father was spotted deep in conversation with new Alpine executive advisor Flavio Briatore.

The 74-year-old Italian has been brought back into the fold with the team he previously commanded through the 1990s and 2000s, prior to his lifetime ban from F1 for his part in the execution of the ‘Crashgate’ plot at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

Briatore, whose remit includes advising on moves in the driver market, has hinted Pierre Gasly is likely to kept on – if he wants to – as he complimented the French driver’s driving by telling Canal+ Gasly is “doing his job well”, and the team “might put a young driver next to him” before mudding the waters by saying “or even an older one!”

PlanetF1.com understands that recent reports Gasly has already signed a new deal with Alpine are premature.

Two other options available to Alpine are current reserve driver Jack Doohan and endurance driver Mick Schumacher, with both set to take part in a day’s testing of a previous car (TPC) on the 3rd of July.

TPC regulations allow for such private tests to be carried out, using cars at least two years old, separate from the official testing programme for current cars and Pirelli’s own tyre testing programme.

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Doohan is an obvious candidate for the seat, having sat out this season of racing in order to concentrate on his role as Alpine’s reserve driver.

Schumacher, who races in WEC in the #36 A424 LMDh Alpine hypercar programme, was let go by Haas after the F1 2022 season and has spent the time since finding refuge elsewhere – he is now a Mercedes F1 reserve alongside his Alpine duties, but has not been seriously linked with the cockpit left vacant at Mercedes by Lewis Hamilton for 2025.

Alpine confirmed the test with a statement received by PlanetF1.com, saying: “As part of our TPC (testing of previous cars) programme, we will test Reserve Driver Jack Doohan, in line with his 2024 schedule, as well as Mick Schumacher as part of his Alpine Endurance project next week at Circuit Paul Ricard.

“We look forward to continuing to use our Race Support Team and the A522 Formula 1 car during our TPC programme.”

Set to take part in the ‘shoot-out’ to impress Alpine’s top brass, Doohan and Schumacher are far from the only candidates available to the team – but have a good opportunity to make a strong case for themselves with an impressive showing at Paul Ricard.

After all, if Gasly does move on – he has been linked with the second Audi seat alongside Nico Hulkenberg – their chances of being picked up for a race seat improve immeasurably.

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