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Schumacher is trying to return to F-1. Is there a real chance and does Mick deserve it?

Date: February 26, 2024 Time: 21:17:10

Mick Schumacher has a chance to return to the Formula 1 grid this year, at least so some media are reporting, citing paddock rumors. We are talking about the Williams team, which includes American rookie Logan Sargent, and their first season in the World Cup is quite difficult. They say that if Sargent does not improve, he will lose his place in the team even before the end of the championship.

We find out how true these rumors ring and what the chances really are of Schumacher Jr. returning to the world’s top races.

Sargent is that bad?

The first five stages were not easy for the American. In Bahrain, Logan looked very good: he almost made it to the second segment and made no mistakes, but in qualifying at Jeddah and Melbourne he failed to drive a single clean lap. In Baku, Sargent crashed the car in sprint qualifying, ultimately missing it, and in Miami, already on the first lap, he demolished his front wing.

In Williams, however, they supported the newcomer. “I told him in Miami: Just think about when you still have a chance to drive 50 laps with a chance to play with the car,” new team principal James Vowles said. “He is a rookie with only a few races under his belt and the opportunity is priceless. Logan is fast and capable of delivering results, he just needs to learn how to keep everything under control, to run clean.

Logan Sargent at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Photo: Alex Pantling/Getty Images

These words are bad news for Schumacher. Sargent is given to understand that he has time to get back into shape, and even if Williams is completely disappointed in Logan, this, according to Vowles, will happen after the middle of the season. It will be too late to switch to the American – before the end of the championship, Schumacher will hardly be able to adapt to the car and bring better results.

However, in the event of a complete failure by the American, Mick will have a chance to take his place in 2024. Schumacher now fills the role of a Mercedes reservist, with whom Williams has close ties: Grove has been using German power plants for many years. years, and Vowles hails from Silver Arrows. Plus, Williams doesn’t have any other serious candidates to replace Sargent: The pilots in the youth program have yet to rise above the F-3.

Williams backs Sargent despite poor start to season

Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

At the same time, let’s not forget that there is still a lot of time before the end of the season and other contenders may appear. At Mercedes, for example, they can offer Williams Frederick Vesti from their youth program: the Dane, after four F-2 stages, is second in the championship. Perhaps Ferrari will try to accommodate Oliver Berman, who has shone in Baku, or Sauber will help Theo Purscher.

At the same time, the place of Alex Albon in Williams is definitely not worth counting on – the Thai has established himself as the team leader, and his contract runs until the end of 2024. In theory, of course, it can be terminated, but Grove is unlikely to present such an initiative; this will happen only if Albon himself wants to be drawn to more competitive teams, but there are no volunteers yet.

The main transfer intrigues right now:

What other options does Schumacher have?

In February of this year, Mick made it clear in an interview that he had already been approached with offers for the 2024 season, which, frankly, sounds very dubious: why weren’t those offers made at the end of 2022, when the German was? Ran out of place?

Schumacher appeared to perform well in 2021, ahead of another Haas rookie, Nikita Mazepin, but the next season Mick looked extremely unconvincing. Then F-1 switched to fundamentally new technical regulations, but the German in most cases turned out to be weaker than the most experienced, but missed the year Kevin Magnussen.

Performances with Magnussen hit Schumacher’s reputation

Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images

The German, in a sense, was stuck at the level of a rookie: despite the experience, he kept making mistakes. If Mick is interested in either team, it’s more likely because of his potential than the form he’s shown. One way or another, let’s try to imagine who could invite a German to the role of a prize pilot.

There is nothing to say about the leading teams: the Red Bull drivers have contracts until the end of 2024, Russell and Hamilton are not going anywhere at Mercedes, and Mick, frankly, did not work out for Sainz’s position at Ferrari. . . Aston Martin is more than happy with Alonso and will definitely not trade Schumacher for Stroll, and McLaren, if Norris leaves, will lean towards IndyCar drivers Patricio O’Ward and Alex Palou (the Spaniard has already tried to leave Ganassi, and his current contract expires at the end of the year).

Palou in free practice for the 2022 United States Grand Prix

Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The option with Alfa Romeo also does not seem very likely: on the eve of the arrival of Audi, Hinville is unlikely to want to part with Zhou and his sponsors, and Bottas is in no hurry to retire. There were rumors that Schumacher was interested in Faenza, but Helmut Marko had already made it clear that Liam Lawson would go to Alpha Tauri if anything happened, and it’s too soon to forget about Red Bull reservist Daniel Riccardo.

In theory, a conflict could arise between Gasly and Okon at Alpin, and if a vacancy were left there, Schumacher could fill it. But Enstone can also take one of his students: Victor Martins or Jack Doohan from F-2, or steal Albon from Williams. In this case, the Grove will once again be Mick’s only chance, and it’s not so much about the 2024 season, but more about an F-1 career in general. After unsuccessful performances in 2022 and two years on the bench, the German, even more so, will not be able to interest anyone.

What about Michael Schumacher?

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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