1978 World Champion Mario Andretti has backed Mick Schumacher to make a full-time return to the System 1 grid after being dropped by Haas for the 2023 season.
Schumacher will spend this yr as Mercedes’ reserve driver after Haas opted to exchange the 2020 System 2 Champion with veteran Nico Hulkenberg for the upcoming marketing campaign.
The choice put an finish to 2 seasons of battle for Schumacher, who registered simply two factors finishes for Haas after making his F1 debut with the crew in 2021.
The 23-year-old has already been linked to a return with Audi, who will arrive in F1 through the Sauber crew in 2026, and Andretti – whose son Michael is presently aiming to affix the grid at the side of Cadillac – is hopeful that Schumacher will discover a means again right into a everlasting seat.
He advised RTL: “I’m positive that somebody will take him. Abilities like that don’t go away.
“I feel Mick has improved tremendously, particularly over the previous season. No query. And that was evident in his efficiency.”
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Because the son of seven-time World Champion Michael, Schumacher arrived in F1 underneath enormous scrutiny and Andretti felt he dealt with that strain with nice dignity, suggesting the “identify Schumacher is an asset in each respect” as he targets a return.
“I feel he wore it with numerous satisfaction, little doubt,” Andretti added.
Andretti’s supportive feedback come after AlphaTauri crew principal Franz Tost revealed he had been eager to signal Schumacher for 2023.
He advised RTL: “He was a difficulty [of conversation] for me, personally.
“I’d even have appreciated to have Mick within the automobile,” he added, reiterating his view that “Mick is gifted and that he additionally has what it takes to drive efficiently in System 1.”
Guenther Steiner, the Haas crew principal, got here underneath fireplace in some quarters for what was perceived as his unfair therapy of Schumacher at occasions over the course of 2021/22.
And he believes the emergence of Nyck de Vries, who served as Mercedes reserve driver earlier than touchdown a full-time drive with AlphaTauri for 2023, can provide inspiration to Schumacher as he begins his new function.
“I feel he’s in a very good place with Mercedes,” Steiner commented not too long ago. “Mercedes has many sibling groups
“[De Vries] jumped in at Williams and obtained a daily cockpit at AlphaTauri via this route.
“[Schumacher is] in a very good place. I hope for no driver’s sake that he can’t drive. But when there’s a chance, Mick can sit in and drive.
“Typically one step again is 2 steps ahead. He’s put himself in a very good place with a crew the place he has the very best probability for a daily cockpit sooner or later.”