Sebastian Vettel makes damning Mick Schumacher admission with F1 return in doubt

Sebastian Vettel has claimed that Mick Schumacher’s predicament is “difficult” and that the young German driver will find it tough to make his way back onto the F1 grid in a full-time capacity.

Schumacher has been working with Mercedes in 2023 as the team’s test and reserve driver, completing simulator work while also doing some closed tests for the Brackley-based outfit and customer team McLaren.

The 24-year-old prospect was not handed a new contract by Haas team principal Guenther Steiner after two difficult seasons with the American team, leaving him without a race seat for 2023 and damaging his chances of recovering a long-term F1 career.

Speaking to Sky Germany about Schumacher’s short-term future, Vettel explained: “The situation is difficult at the moment. There is maybe one cockpit left and at the moment it is not so easy or rather difficult to get in and slide in. But there is always some possibility.

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“I think it’s important that next year it continues in some way for him, that he continues to work on the second chance. From a German point of view, it’s indispensable, he’s not only the greatest young talent, but maybe even the only one at the moment.”

Vettel and Schumacher have a very close relationship with the German duo forming a strong bond during their time as competitors on the grid. The four-time world champion took his compatriot under his wing after he graduated into F1 as the reigning Formula 2 champion. 

With help from Mercedes and team principal Toto Wolff, Schumacher’s entourage has been chasing a full-time return to the grid with lower-midfield squad Williams seen as the only realistic option for the German driver.

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Williams boss James Vowles has a strong working relationship with Wolff after their time together at the Silver Arrows and with Logan Sargeant yet to claim a point in a disappointing rookie season, Schumacher’s camp has been putting pressure on the young Floridian from the outside. 

Despite this pressure, Sergeant looks likely to stay with Williams for another year, leaving Schumacher on the sidelines once again and without a realistic hope of reviving his ailing F1 career. 

Ted Kravitz addressed Schumacher’s immediate future during his notebook segment on Sky Sports at Monza, stating: “Sadly it doesn’t look like Mick Schumacher is going to be back on the grid next year.

“In which case, he’s gonna have to find a different series to race in, because you can’t have two years away from racing. That would just really hurt too much for him.”

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