Ocon backs Mick Schumacher to make Formula 1 return

Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team. 28.11.2023. Formula 1 Testing, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, Tuesday. - www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Moy / XPB Images
© XPB 

Alpine driver Esteban Ocon has backed Mick Schumacher to make a return to the Formula 1 grid in the future, after the German was dropped by Haas after two seasons together at the end of 2022.

Schumacher was dropped by then-team principal Guenther Steiner after a series of accidents during his sophomore season with the team which Steiner deemed was costing the squad too much money in terms of repairs and lost points.

Schumacher was hended a lifeline by Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and is currently test and reserve driver at Brackley, potentially putting him in the running to take over Lewis Hamilton's race seat in 2025.

“He’s one of the most talented drivers out there," Ocon said of Schumacher when asked by media at this week's Alpine launch event. “He deserves a place in F1, he’s proved, you know - he’s Formula 3 champion, Formula 2 champion.

"He had two years in the back of a midfield car, but you need time to prove yourself in F1, learn things," he argued. "For sure he deserves a seat in Formula 1."

But that doesn't mean Ocon is backing Schumacher to take over Hamilton's seat. Ocon is also strongly tipped to fill the vacancy having long established links with Mercedes.

Despite his race role at Alpine, Ocon is still officially a 'junior driver' for the Silver Arrows. He insists his current focus remains with Alpine, but there's no question that if the call came from Mercedes it would be hard to resist.

(L to R): Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team; Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team; and Mick Schumacher (GER) Haas F1 Team, at the end of year drivers' photograph. 20.11.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 22, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, Race Day. - www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

Naturally Schumacher is hoping that he gets the call first. He's made no secret of his desire to return to F1, and this year will compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship driving Alpine's new A424 LMDh prototype.

That will not only keep him front and centre awn F1 bosses are casting around for drivers, it will also keep him race-fit ensure his competitive instincts remain sharp.

It just really sparked that flame in me to want to go and race," Schumacher said after his first test in the A424 last year. "I’m happy to be here and I guess the feeling is kind of mutual.”


The son of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher said he “didn’t really think much” about his prospects of taking over Hamilton's seat, but that he was certainly keeping a close eye on F1's early start to the driver 'silly season'.

“What is going to happen in the next year or weeks is still to be revealed, and also for me,” Schumacher commented. “I’m just excited to see what happens in the future.

“My eye is definitely still pretty much on Formula 1," he confirmed. "Because there is now a lot of excitement in the driver market, it could be that one or two doors will open.”

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