Mick Schumacher is, in response to Marc Surer, the one candidate ought to Audi need a German driver on the grid of their first System 1 season in 2026.
However that begs the query of what does the German do for the subsequent three years, as proper now he isn’t even assured a Haas seat for subsequent season.
Schumacher is out of contract with Haas on the finish of this 12 months, with crew boss Guenther Steiner making it well-known he has not been overly impressed with the 23-year-old’s performances.
Securing solely two top-10 leads to 41 begins, he’s the one driver with out a single level because the summer time break.
Whereas Haas have stated they may give him till the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to indicate he can rating factors, Crimson Bull motorsport adviser Helmut Marko believes the crew have already made the decision to switch him with Nico Hulkenberg.
With no different seats accessible for subsequent season, Schumacher will, if Marko is right, be out of System 1.
He might, nonetheless, discover a lifeline down the road with Audi, who’re stated to need a German driver within the automobile after they arrive on the grid in 2026.
However 2026 is a good distance off.
“There aren’t many [German drivers] on the checklist in the mean time,” Motorsport-total.com quotes former F1 driver Surer as having informed the Formel1.de Youtube channel. “Mick Schumacher would truly be the one who’s furthest alongside.
“He has now accomplished two years in System 1 so I feel he can have hope.
“The issue is the years till then, the place does that depart him?”
May Valtteri Bottas be an possibility for Audi?
An alternative choice for Audi can be present Alfa Romeo-Sauber driver Valtteri Bottas.
The 33-year-old is a confirmed race winner with 10 wins on the board and never solely has expertise with a prime crew from his Mercedes days but in addition is aware of the Hinwil squad.
That may imply a easy transition, one with “secure worth” as Surer put it.
“He exhibits how good the automobile is,” he added. “He performs effectively and drives as quick because the automobile permits.
“Alternatively, there could also be different drivers who might do it too. It gained’t be [Antonio] Giovinazzi who was in his place earlier than. All of us seen he was as soon as quick, then not, whereas consistency is Bottas’ energy.”
Surer’s greatest concern with Bottas is his age as he’ll flip 37 in Audi’s first season.
“I might say he is perhaps a bit too outdated,” he stated. “Then it’s important to reorient your self.”
Audi’s arrival could possibly be too late to avoid wasting Schumacher
It’s being claimed this week that Schumacher’s Haas destiny could possibly be revealed publicly as early as Thursday.
Whereas Steiner has stated a number of occasions he desires to provide him as a lot time as attainable to indicate the crew what he can do, it was not lengthy after Mexico the place Schumacher completed P16 that rumours started to flow into claiming a call had been made.
If Schumacher does lose his Haas drive and has to accept a reserve driver function in 2023, he may have one shot the next 12 months to revive his profession.
However it’s already an extended shot as, barring an entire failure from one in every of their drivers, this season’s prime 5 groups are prone to proceed with their 2023 drivers into 2024.
In actual fact, excluding Lewis Hamilton, each a kind of drivers has a 2024 contract. Aston Martin are additionally full up already.
Together with his choices already dwindling, Schumacher’s greatest wager is the Ferrari connection to Alfa Romeo for 2024, however even that’s tenuous as a result of with Alfa Romeo parting methods with Sauber on the finish of subsequent season, the crew have but to substantiate if they may keep on with Ferrari engines.
Schumacher can’t afford a second season as a reserve driver, it could spell the tip of his probabilities of making a comeback. In spite of everything, why would Audi need a driver no person else desires to take an opportunity on?