Mick Schumacher found himself part of an awkward situation on Austrian television as he was forced to put right the incorrect claim that he has signed with Alpine and their endurance racing programme.
After losing his seat with Haas at the end of the 2022 campaign, Schumacher joined Mercedes where he has been spending F1 2023 as their reserve driver.
But, with opportunities having dried up on the 2024 grid, rumours emerged that Schumacher could link-up with Alpine to contest next season’s World Endurance Championship.
Mick Schumacher forced to shut down incorrect Alpine claim
Speaking at the Japanese Grand Prix, interim Alpine team boss Bruno Famin confirmed that they are in talks with Schumacher, but there is still a way to go until any agreement is reached.
“It’s true that we’re talking with Mick about the possibility to race in our endurance programme with the A424,” Famin confirmed.
“For the time being we’re just talking, and hopefully we will organise a test.”
ORF commentator Ernst Hausleitner though, apparently heard different and claimed in an interview with Schumacher that the Alpine union was a done deal.
As per F1-Insider.com, Hausleitner said: “Mick, now we have to change the category very briefly: Ferdinand [Habsburg, pundit] at my side was completely surprised when I told him that Mick Schumacher would drive the WEC next season. It’s official now!”
“Uh… Officially, nothing is at all,” a frustrated Schumacher replied.
Habsburg attempted to bring some humour in to diffuse the situation, though his final quip of “Mick, when can I make it official?” only served to further disgruntle the German racer.
“Well, I’ll share that from my side,” he said.
“It will probably take a little more time until then. But of course I have to look at my options and of course there are talks.”
Williams are now the final potential lifeline for Schumacher to feature on the F1 2024 grid, but should that door remain closed as expected, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has already confirmed that he is open to Schumacher remaining Mercedes reserve even if he takes on an outside project like this potential one with Alpine.