Steiner warns Alpine against signing Mick Schumacher

Steiner warns Alpine against signing Mick Schumacher

Guenther Steiner has warned Alpine against signing Mick Schumacher as a possible replacement for Esteban Ocon.

Former Haas team boss Guenther Steiner believes that Alpine needs the best driver as a works team and has suggested that they should pass on signing Mick Schumacher.

This comes after Steiner was not particularly impressed with the German racer’s performances after working with him for two seasons (2021 and 2022).

Schumacher joined F1 following his success as a Formula 2 champion. However, he endured a dismal rookie campaign due to the pressure of his relation to his seven-time world champion father, Michael, as well as Haas’ egregiously uncompetitive 2021 car.

After a series of highly controversial crashes, the 24-year-old failed to show any visible improvements during his second season with the team, therefore Steiner decided to sideline Schumacher for the 2023 campaign. He was later signed by Mercedes as a test and reserve driver for a year before joining Alpine’s World Endurance Championship team for 2024.

Schumacher has now emerged as an appealing option to replace Esteban Ocon in 2025 following his impressive performances that have impressed Bruno Famin. On the other hand, Zhou Gaunyu and Jack Doohan are also solid options for Alpine, while there have been reports of interest in Carlos Sainz and Yuki Tsunoda.

However, it’s an option that Steiner would not recommend, believing there are better candidates – such as Carlos Sainz and Yuki Tsunoda – for Alpine to consider.

“In the moment not, no. You need to get the best driver you know is out there, I think people which are showing that they’re very good,” he said, speaking on the Red Flags podcast. “As a works team, you need to do the best you can.”

Steiner suggested that Alpine could possibly have been a little too quick to brush off the rivalry that strained Ocon and Gasly’s relationship during their junior years in motorsport.

Ocon’s move on Gasly during the Monaco Grand Prix was probably justified although it failed to work as expected. However, the former should have avoided taking such a gamble on his own teammate.

“Obviously you think about it, absolutely you think about it, because it’s just something you don’t want,” added Steiner, commenting on the maneuver. “I always say, team-mates don’t need to be the best friends, they don’t need to go out for dinner, but they need to respect each other.

“Because in the end, but it’s generally in life, you need to respect other people. If you don’t like to drive with this guy in your team, just go somewhere else. If I don’t like to be somewhere, I move on. I’m not trying to fight it at the cost of somebody else, which is the team.

“So one of them should have said, ‘I cannot be in the team with this other guy’, and somebody else maybe should have seen that. Everybody knows about the history of the two of them and even their parents apparently, they had to keep them apart.

“That’s not what you want when you’re going, ‘Oh, we will be teammates, yeah it’s all good, we just fought the last 20 years, but now that’s all good’, you know?”

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