If Haas move on from Mick Schumacher, could he end up making the switch from Ferrari to Red Bull for the 2023 Formula 1 season?
With Mick Schumacher losing the apparent leverage he would have had with Haas when Alpine’s Fernando Alonso announced his switch to Aston Martin as Sebastian Vettel’s replacement for the 2023 Formula 1 season, it has been revealed that Haas have suspended contract talks with the 23-year-old German.
Schumacher is only under contract with the American team through the end of the 2022 season, and there has been speculation that they may look to replace him.
He recently scored his first points at Silverstone and backed that up with a career-best sixth place effort in Austria, but for much of the season, he has been beaten by teammate Kevin Magnussen, who only returned to Haas for the first time since 2020 just days before the 2022 season began.
Other reports suggest that Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto no longer believes in Schumacher’s potential, and with Ferrari believed to have some say in who is considered for the second Haas seat, perhaps the current suspension in contract talks will lead to the departure of the son of Ferrari legend Michael Schumacher.
In that case, there seems to be one perfect possible landing spot.
Given the recent Binotto development, it is entirely possible that a Schumacher departure from Haas will lead to a Schumacher departure from Ferrari altogether.
Could that lead him to join Red Bull’s development program?
Such a move could keep Schumacher in Formula 1 with Red Bull sister team AlphaTauri, as they have yet to confirm whether Yuki Tsunoda will be back for what would be a third season with the team in 2023.
There is also still the belief that Pierre Gasly isn’t exactly locked in for 2023, even though the team have him under contract through next year. We all know just how much “under contract” means anymore. After this year’s silly season, and not just in Formula 1, you’d be silly not to put it right on par with the promises of a career politician running for another term in public office.
After all, both McLaren and Daniel Ricciardo committed to sticking together for 2023, and yet here we are, with Alpine reserve driver Oscar Piastri denying Alpine’s press release that he will be driving for the team next year and instead reportedly heading to Ricciardo’s seat.
With a Red Bull seat off the table for at least another few years since Sergio Perez recently extended his deal through 2024 (and, of course, since reigning world champion Max Verstappen recently extended his deal through 2028), Gasly is apparently still keen to compete in a faster car, and the Alpine seat has been mentioned as a possibility.
Regardless of whether Gasly is truly locked in for another year, however, AlphaTauri should absolutely be considered among the top landing spots, if not the top landing spot, for Schumacher in 2023.
A two-year deal there would give Red Bull an opportunity to assess whether or not he is ready for a promotion to the top team.
It is also interesting to note that Vettel has long served as a mentor to the young Schumacher, just as Michael served as a mentor for Vettel.
Vettel even backed Schumacher to take over his seat at Aston Martin before they signed Alonso. Is a move to the Red Bull organization, one with which Vettel won four consecutive world championships to open up the 2010s, now in the cards?
Red Bull don’t currently have any F1-ready junior drivers in their development program, but the addition of Schumacher could change that.
Even though he has struggled to get up to speed, his history of blossoming in year two (2018 Formula 3 European champion and 2020 Formula 2 champion after 12th place finishes in the same series one season prior) suggests he could be well worth the investment of a two-year contract.
Let’s also not forget the ongoing speculation that Porsche could join Red Bull in Formula 1 in 2026. While the long-term plan for the Austrian team still certainly and justifiably revolves around Verstappen, could the addition of a German youngster potentially interest the German manufacturer? It’d be hard to say no to that one.