Mick Schumacher the ‘only’ choice as unlikely F1 2024 driver swap theory emerges

Oliver Harden
A smiling Mick Schumacher with the logos of Mercedes, Alpine and Williams alongside him

Will doors open for Mick Schumacher to make a sensational return to F1?

Former F1 driver Timo Glock has tipped Mick Schumacher to make an unlikely surprise return to the grid during the F1 2024 season as Logan Sargeant’s replacement at Williams.

Schumacher, the son of seven-time World Champion Michael, was dropped by Haas at the end of the F1 2022 season after two largely disappointing seasons with the American outfit.

Williams to rival Alpine for Mick

Having spent last season as Mercedes‘ reserve driver, Schumacher has returned to racing this year with Alpine in the World Endurance Championship and has been linked with an F1 comeback in the midst of a volatile driver market.

With Alpine F1’s current drivers, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon, out of contract at the end of this season, team principal Bruno Famin told media including PlanetF1.com’s Thomas Maher at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix that Schumacher is a “possibility” to race for the Enstone outfit in F1 2025.

Alpine are not the only team active on the current driver market, with Williams team principal James Vowles admitting at Imola that Sargeant is “at risk” of being dropped as the Grove-based team aiming to finalise their F1 2025 driver line-up within weeks.

In depth: The state of play in the F1 driver market

👉 The 10 drivers out of contract at the end of the F1 2024 season

👉 F1 2025 driver line-up: Who is already confirmed for the 2025 grid?

Multiple reports on Monday, verified by PlanetF1.com, indicated that Valtteri Bottas is set to rejoin Williams next season, yet there is a faint possibility that the team could seek to replace Sargeant before the current campaign is over.

PlanetF1.com revealed during the recent Miami Grand Prix weekend that the FIA received a special dispensation request to allow boy wonder Andrea Kimi Antonelli – believed to be Mercedes’ preferred option to replace Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton next season – to race in F1 before his 18th birthday on August 25.

F1’s current rules, in place since the emergence of a 17-year-old Max Verstappen at Red Bull youth team Toro Rosso in 2015, prevent drivers from racing in F1 before they reach the age of 18.

It has been suggested that Mercedes could look to place Antonelli at Williams in F1 2024 to evaluate his performances before a final decision on whether to promote him as Hamilton’s successor.

However, former Toyota and Marussia driver Glock has claimed that Schumacher’s greater experience should give him the edge in the race to replace Sargeant.

He told German media: “I could well imagine that things will wear thin for Sargeant before the end of the year and that he will be replaced. He was again unable to stand out at the weekend.

“I like to put on my German glasses. In my eyes, there’s only one person who could step in at the moment and that’s Mick Schumacher.

“There are no active drivers at the moment and no youngsters with experience. Mick is the only one who has the experience to replace him.

“We’ll see what happens next year.”

Responding to Famin’s revelation that Schumacher could race for Alpine in F1 2025, Glock hinted that Gasly could be vulnerable having struggled in difficult circumstances against Ocon in the early months of this season.

He said: “Pierre Gasly is not performing well at the moment compared to his team-mate Esteban Ocon.

“Mick is doing a good job in WEC. He is a candidate.”

Gasly and Ocon have both spoken of the need to assess their options for next season in light of Alpine’s poor start to the season, which has seen the team score just a single point across the first seven races.

Speaking to media including PlanetF1.com at Imola, Ocon – linked to Mercedes and Sauber/Audi over recent months – revealed that he is keen to resolve his future as soon as possible, having been forced to take a year out after losing his Force India seat at the end of 2018.

He said: “For sure, there’s a lot happening behind [the scenes], not only looking for a long term deal but also the short term.

“Things can change quickly in Formula 1, but the important thing is to be secured as early as possible. That is a clear target of mine as always.

“I don’t want to pay the price the second time like there was at the end of 2018, which was not a good memory. It was not for performance reasons.

“I think I’m doing a good job again this year and for the years that I’ve been in F1, so I deserve to have a place in F1.

“We’ll see. At the moment, my head is fully into this team, is fully dedicated.

“I’ve been in the project for years, that is very clear, but in Formula 1 it’s quite a dark side [to be without a deal] and not one that I’ve ever enjoyed.

“So as soon as it will be done, the better it will be.”

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