Mick Schumacher is driving his second season in Formula 1.Image: www.imago-images.de / imago images
Mick Schumacher came casually and with a grin on Thursday to the first media event after the Formula 1 summer break. If the 23-year-old had hoped for a quiet start to the race weekend in Spa (Belgium), this was not given to him, at least by the journalists. When asked by the Haas pilot in the round of almost 20 media representatives how the summer break was, a reporter answered with a counter question: How Schumacher thinks that Antonio Giovinazzi will be used in training at Haas in the coming weeks.
Apparently no time for niceties.
Actually, one could hardly consider this detail worth mentioning – but currently it is. It’s the so-called “Silly Season” in Formula 1. The phase in which wild rumors are floating around about the future of the drivers and there is new information almost every day.
As with Giovinazzi, who could contest the cockpit in the Haas for the coming season from Schumacher. From 2019 to 2021 he drove for Alfa Romeo, now he is hoping for a new chance in Formula 1 in the new year. So that he can recommend himself for this, he gets the chance to show himself in the first free practice session in Monza (Italy) and Texas (USA). In the Haas car, which is why Mick Schumacher and his teammate Kevin Magnussen cannot take part in training.
Permanent topic: future of Mick Schumacher
With this counter-question, the topic that is discussed and addressed again and again in Belgium becomes clear early on before the race weekend: The future of Mick Schumacher, who only has a contract with Haas until the end of the year. Watson shows how omnipresent the cockpit situation is on a normal race weekend in the “silly season” and how often Schumacher and other players are asked about it.
Spa as a special route for the Schumacher family
Father Michael made his debut in Formula 1 in 1991 and a year later clinched his first ever victory in the premier class. In 1995 he started in 16th place and won in the end, in 2004 he secured his seventh and last world title there. That’s why Mick Schumacher said before the weekend: “Spa itself is so steeped in history, but also a very special place for us as a family and also for me.” Spa is also special for Mick, where he clinched his first victory in Formula 3. (stu)
The question about Mick’s future on Thursday shouldn’t be the last of its kind this race weekend. The conversation was also steered in this direction during the media round after the Friday sessions. But this time packaged a little differently. Background: Audi had announced that it would enter Formula 1 as an engine manufacturer in 2026 and also buy into a team at the same time. A German driver is also conceivable. Audi even advertised the driver’s position on Twitter in a humorous way: “Driver wanted. Send in your CV.”
That’s not the only reason why the question arose after the Friday sessions as to whether Schumacher could imagine a future at Audi – mind you, only for the year 2026. With a slight smile, he replies: “It’s definitely nice. But we will see who else will be added by then and whether there are more German drivers.”
Almost 24 hours later, the next rumor was already haunting the paddock. Alpha Tauri pilot Pierre Gasly is said to be on Alpine’s list. Schumacher could then switch to Alpha Tauri for Gasly. After qualifying on Saturday, he was also asked about these rumours. Laughing, very briefly but friendly, he says: “My rumors are that I’m going to have a race tomorrow that I’m preparing for.”
Schumacher’s environment is also expressed again and again
Before he drove this race, however, other players from Formula 1 circles had to answer questions about Schumacher’s future. For example, his Haas team boss Günther Steiner. On almost every occasion he was asked about his plans for Mick Schumacher. Sometimes he said that nothing had been decided yet, then he admitted that he had at least had initial talks with other drivers like Daniel Ricciardo and finally he saw Schumacher on an equal footing with his team-mate on individual race weekends – only the consistency would be missing.
Sebastian Vettel (left) and Mick Schumacher on the Thursday before the race weekend in Spa.Image: www.imago-images.de / imago images
The second German driver in the field, Sebastian Vettel, was also asked questions about the future of the Haas driver. When rumors about a move to Alpha Tauri surfaced, Vettel said: “I definitely wish him to be there next year.” Vettel further added: “I think it will work out somehow.”
However, in order for Schumacher to get a place in a Formula 1 team, he will probably have to deliver better results in the final eight races. Due to an engine penalty, he started from 19th place. Only Yuki Tsunoda had an even worse starting situation because he had to start from the pit lane. In the end, Schumacher finished in 17th place. He left Nicholas Latifi behind. Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were also eliminated. The result can be explained by the lack of top speed on the Haas, which tends to excel on winding roads – Spa is not.
“We should be able to travel to Zandvoort with a better package.”
Mick Schumacher on his hopes for the next race in Zandvoort
The circuit in Zandvoort in the coming week should be a better fit for this. Both team boss Steiner and Schumacher see it that way. In the media round after the race, he explained: “We should be able to travel to Zandvoort with a better package and then hopefully be able to compete in midfield again.”
However, this post-race media round also had something positive from Schumacher’s point of view. He was not asked about his future.
The interest in the fate of Schumacher is quite understandable. If he does not get a cockpit in the new season, there is a risk of a Formula 1 year without German participation. Sebastian Vettel will end his career and Nico Hulkenberg probably has more outsider chances to find another team. In 1981, a season in the top motorsport class was last staged without a German driver.
For this reason there will also be questions about the future of Schumacher around the race weekend in Zandvoort.
By Thursday at the latest, the question will be asked again: How does your future look, Mr. Schumacher?
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