Schumacher admits ’time running out’ for F1 return
"I can’t give a time horizon yet"
Mick Schumacher admits the time has come for his plans for 2024 to become clearer.
At Zandvoort, what did become clear is that the Williams race seat alongside the on-form Alex Albon might be up for grabs, with rookie Logan Sargeant given a mission to up his game.
"You have to earn your place in Formula 1," new team boss James Vowles said at the Dutch GP.
"Logan needs improvements on consistency, the gap to Alex needs to remain the same and shrink over time," he added. "The rate of learning has to increase now.
"He’s aware of all that. He knows that in front of him is a career and a journey that’s within his power to control."
Given that he was Mercedes’ highly rated strategy boss until this year, Vowles is close to Toto Wolff - who now has Mick Schumacher under his wing as Mercedes’ high-profile reserve driver.
Schumacher, who lost his Haas race seat after two seasons last year, was also given a track outing for Mercedes-powered McLaren recently.
"He did a great job in the McLaren tests - at least that’s what I’ve heard," Mick’s uncle Ralf told Sky Deutschland at Zandvoort.
As for the 24-year-old’s chances of returning to the grid next year, Ralf - brother of Mick’s legendary father Michael - commented: "Formula 1 is very dynamic. Anything can happen.
"Mick is still in the thick of things, thankfully. He just has to have a little patience."
Mick himself, however, acknowledges that the time is right to be putting his 2024 plans together.
He said at Zandvoort: "I can’t give a time horizon yet. I’m still working on it.
"Time is running out a bit, but at the moment I do need to take my time."
A source close to Schumacher thinks a successful return to the grid for Mick would be a perfect way for Wolff to prove Red Bull wrong over its decision to overlook him for an Alpha Tauri seat.
"I think Toto wants to bring Mick back to Formula 1 to prove something," the source told Auto Bild. "To prove something also to Red Bull."
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