Audi 'not in concrete talks with Schumacher yet'

Mick Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Reserve Driver. 02.03.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, Preparation Day.
© XPB 

Speculation that Mick Schumacher might return to full-time Formula 1 with Audi is still common currency in the paddock, but the company's CEO says there have been no definite talks taking place about it so far.

Schumacher moved to F1 after winning the Formula 2 championship in 2020. He drove for the Haas F1 Team in 2021 and 2022, but a series of costly accidents appeared to sour the relationship between driver and team

Schumacher was dropped by the team at the end of last year, but was picked up as the official reserve driver at Mercedes - although that meant ending his long term relationship with the Ferrari Driver Academy.

Now the 23-year-old son of legendary seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher is hoping that his behind the scenes role at Brackley will give him the platform to return to the sport fully in a year or two.

One of the best opportunities would appear to be as a driver for Audi when the German manufacturer enters F1 as a manufacturer in 2026, with Sauber (currently running the Alfa Romeo squad) as its works team.

Even before that date, Schumacher could be recruited as an established driver with experience of current F1 equipment to help guide Audi's development preparations.

Mick Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Reserve Driver. 25.02.2023. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day Three.

The idea of Schumacher helping launch the German team is reminiscent of the role that his dad played at Mercedes in 2010. But it's by no means a foregone conclusion that it will actually happen.

“There have been no concrete discussions with Mick Schumacher regarding a commitment," Audi CEO Markus Duesmann told Der Spiegel this week.

“Of course, German drivers interest us as much as they interest the top of the parent company," he acknowledged. "But that is not a requirement for us.

“We are currently talking to many decision-makers, drivers, team managers,” he added.

Audi board chairman Markus Duesmann

While F1 is a brand new venture for Audi, the company has an impressive recored in global motorsport = especially in endurance racing, with an impressive number of victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans under its belt.

Duesmann said that this showed Audi meant business and was determined to succeed when it does finally join the grid when new engine regulations take effect.

“We are not going into Formula 1 on a whim, we want to show what we can do,” Duesmann asserted. “The Olympian idea of just wanting to be there and take part is not enough for us.

“We have done everything possible to win in all the championships we have participated in, and so far we have always succeeded."

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