Alpine boss Bruno Famin disclosed that the team is still in talks with Mick Schumacher regarding a 2024 World Endurance Championship seat amid being fully satisfied with his performance in a recent test session.
Mick Schumacher who is the son of seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher, left the Formula 1 grid at the end of 2022 following two generally frustrating seasons with Haas, during which he finished with just two points in 44 outings.
Schumacher was hoping to make a return to an F1 race seat in 2024 after joining Mercedes as the team’s reserve driver last winter, but an absence of openings has forced the German, who won the prestigious Formula 2 championship in 2020, to consider options outside of F1.
Schumacher drove Alpine’s Hypercar in a multi-day test earlier this month at the Jerez circuit in Spain in an attempt to secure one of the six spots available for the French manufacturer’s two-car WEC entry next season.
Famin said that negotiations are still ongoing regarding a possible deal while hailing Schumacher’s test.
“Mick tested the car in Jerez 10 days ago or eight days ago,” the Alpine boss said. “We were very happy with his performance, his global performance, how he was with the team and I think he was happy too.
“That means that we can still discuss about trying to do something next year together. But here we are only [at this stage].”
Schumacher, who has only raced in single-seater cars so far in his career, acknowledged after his test that the prototype is significantly different from what he is accustomed to.
“It’s a completely different feeling,” Schumacher said. “The car is relatively big, relatively heavy.
“The cockpit is completely closed, which felt a bit claustrophobic at the beginning. But I got used to it relatively quickly.
“In terms of racing, it’s a bit different because you share the car. That is exciting in a way. The car has to last 24 hours. It’s a different challenge.
“You never notice whether the tyre stops or not. You have little lights that indicate that, but nothing else. It was a bit abstract to sit in there in a completely closed cockpit and not get any wind.
“But the biggest change for me was the draught in the back. There is a cooling system that blows air in and I was not really prepared for that at the beginning.
“We had the Le Mans setup on a track where high downforce setup is the order of the day,” Schumacher added. “That’s why it felt slow and very sluggish. But of course, that also comes from the weight at 1,000 kilograms.
“You also have traction control, which is a completely different driving experience.”
The current Formula 1 race calendar includes six of the eight circuits on the 2024 WEC calendar: Sakhir, Circuit of the Americas, Lusail, Imola, Spa, and Interlagos.
WEC will be heading to Bahrain this weekend for the season finale.