Mick Schumacher has revealed that he sought the advice of four-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel before signing to racing in the World Endurance Championship with Alpine in 2024.
Schumacher lost his place on the F1 grid when he was dropped by Haas at the end of the 2022 season, becoming Mercedes’ reserve driver for 2023 in the hope of finding a way back in.
With no offers forthcoming, however, the German – son of seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher – was forced to explore options in alternative categories for 2024.
Mick Schumacher sought Sebastian Vettel advice before Alpine WEC switch
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher
After weeks of speculation, Schumacher’s involvement in Alpine’s 2024 WEC assault was finally confirmed on Wednesday with the 24-year-old remaining as Mercedes’ reserve driver for next season too.
Asked if he had spoken to drivers about the Alpine opportunity, Schumacher confirmed he sought advice from Vettel before committing to his decision.
He told media including PlanetF1.com’s Thomas Maher: “A couple of drivers. I spoke to Timo Glock and I’ve briefly spoken with Sebastian about it as well. Obviously this has been a factor. He knows so much about motorsport that it was also a very clear point for me to go and ask him about his opinion.”
Schumacher is keen to get back to racing after being forced to sit out the entire 2023 season, adding: “Obviously, having to sit out a full year has been tough and I’m just excited to be back in the car and go race and obviously have a new challenge again.
“That was for sure the aim. Obviously, I’m a racing driver. I haven’t been out of racing for 14 years previous to this, so it was definitely a clear choice and clear direction that I wanted to go racing again next year.”
Schumacher denied that his switch to the WEC is a sidestep and stressed the importance of maintaining his links with Mercedes in the hope that another opportunity in F1 comes his way in the near future.
He explained: “It is an upcoming championship in general, so I wouldn’t call it a sidestep. I think it has its charm and challenges just as much as for Formula 1 does.
“I’m doing a dual program with the reserve driver’s seat role to keep contact to Formula 1, but definitely I see it as a challenge and I see it as something where also I as a driver can develop further hopefully as well.
“If my way leads back to Formula 1 one day, then I’ll be able to take that development that I have done in that series over to Formula 1 again.”