Sebastian Vettel concedes Mick Schumacher is facing a “difficult” situation securing a spot on the 2024 grid, but he insists there’s still “some possibility”.
Dropped by Haas after two seasons with the American outfit, Schumacher joined Mercedes ahead of this season as the team’s official reserve driver with the German intent on returning to the grid in 2024.
But his chances of that are dwindling with just three teams with unconfirmed seats but all with a name, if not two, pencilled in.
Mick Schumacher’s F1 options are fading admits Sebastian Vettel
Alfa Romeo are said to be deciding between Zhou Guanyu and Theo Pourchaire, AlphaTauri have a list of at least three drivers for their two seats, and Williams have made it known they want to continue with Logan Sargeant.
The latter, though, comes with a caveat with team boss James Vowles telling his American driver that he needs to “earn” his place and that means scoring points which is something he has yet to do.
As Sargeant’s point-less run continues, rumours have linked Schumacher to his race seat given Williams’ Mercedes ties that include running Mercedes engines and Vowles, who is Toto Wolff’s former right-hand man.
But while Vettel accepts it’s not looking good for Schumacher for a 2024 return, he feels until Sargeant is confirmed, his compatriot still has a chance.
“The situation is difficult at the moment,” he told Sky Deutschland. “There is perhaps still a single cockpit and at the moment it is not that easy or rather difficult to get in there and slide in.
“But there is always some possibility.
“I think it’s important that things continue in a certain way for him next year, that he continues to work on the second chance.”
It’s also important for Germany with Vettel saying Schumacher is their only young prospect.
“From a German perspective it’s essential, it’s not just the biggest young talent, but perhaps even the only one at the moment,” he added.
As for Schumacher, the 24-year-old admits his chances of securing a Formula 1 race seat are fading as many of the drivers have long-term contracts in place.
He is, however, hopeful for 2025 and until then he could take up a “Plan B” option.
“There isn’t much movement at the moment,” he recently said. “Many drivers are already set or have a contract that doesn’t expire until the end of next year.”
Revealing he speaks with his team boss Wolff “almost every day” about his options for next season, he admits “unfortunately” there is now a “Plan B” but he wouldn’t go into details about that.