Mick Schumacher could be Alpine answer to driver unrest as son of F1 legend offered return to the grid

-Credit: (Image: Icon Sport via Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Alpine might provide Mick Schumacher with an opportunity to return to the Formula 1 circuit amidst tension between their current drivers.

Schumacher, son of the legendary seven-time champion Michael, boasts two years of F1 experience. He spent those seasons with Haas, but was let go at the conclusion of the 2022 campaign. Post-Haas, he secured a position as a reserve driver for Mercedes, yet hasn't had the chance to compete for the prestigious team. Before this season kicked off, he joined Alpine's World Endurance Championship programme and is set to participate in the renowned 24 Hours of Le Mans next month.

His recent association with the French squad could pave the way for a spot on their F1 team. Both Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly's contracts are due to expire at the end of this year, and the pair have once again been at odds after a clash in Monaco. Ocon made a bold but misguided attempt to overtake his teammate on the opening lap. The manoeuvre resulted in contact, with Gasly's front-right wheel lifting the other Alpine off the ground, and Ocon was fortunate not to overturn, reports the Mirror.

The stewards penalised Ocon, who later acknowledged his mistake on social media. Nonetheless, an exasperated team principal Bruno Famin told French media that there would be "consequences" for Ocon following his "attack" on Gasly. Famin has acknowledged Schumacher, as a potential team member for the upcoming year, expressing to Sky Germany his satisfaction with the 25-year-old.

"I'm very happy with Mick, he's super fast", he said. "But that's not the main thing in the WEC, you have to drive at a consistently high level and have a good team spirit."

He praised Schumacher's adaptability and teamwork, saying, "I'm very impressed with him because he adapted his attitude to the long-distance races from day one. He has a very good relationship with his teammates. Everything is open for 2025, everyone talks to everyone. It would be a mistake not to have Mick on the list."

Timo Glock, the ex-F1 driver, also spoke to the broadcaster about the tension at Alpine and the chance it presents for Mick: "I think there is unrest between [Ocon and Gasly]. Neither is happy with their current situation at Alpine. That's why there is a great opportunity for Mick. He just has to try to continue to impress with his performances in the WEC and try to keep his foot in the door and show himself. That's the only way he can get into a cockpit next year. I hope so for him, he deserves it."

Schumacher himself, when asked in Monte Carlo, shared his unwavering aspiration: "My goal and my dream is to drive in Formula 1. It has always been like that and it will always be like that.

"That's why we have to make sure that the dominoes fall in my direction and hopefully I end up with a seat. What I can do is to simply give my best performance in the WEC and also in Formula 1 and continue to perform well for the team as a reserve driver and continue to lead the discussions."