Mick Schumacher not thinking too far ahead about F1 future as Alfa Romeo not hurrying on driver decision, while Haas should confirm soon.
With the 2021 F1 season closing in on its halfway point, the silly season is already on. In days and years gone by, it would be starting about the mid-point of the season, about now perhaps, but in current times, this is now a third of the way through the season.
A speculation arose around the Austrian rounds concerning Schumacher switching to Alfa Romeo in 2022. Now, as it stands just now, the German is on a multi-year contract at Haas, which was announced at the end of the 2020 F1 season.
It was similar to Nikita Mazepin. The move of Schumacher, though, arose via Bernie Ecclestone, who had also stated that he felt it would have been better for the German to have gone to Alfa Romeo in the first place as he would learnt from Kimi Raikkonen.
Jos Verstappen, who was a team-mate of Mick’s father in 1994 feels Schumacher would be better staying with Haas, however, feeling that he is already performing better than Mazepin. And that Haas as a team will be better supported from Ferrari next year.
“I am living in the here and now,” said Schumacher to Sky Germany, when asked by former F1 racer-turned-pundit, Timo Glock. “I haven’t thought much about next year. We’ll see what happens in the end. I’m sure you’ll hear if something happens.”
The situation at Alfa Romeo is that Sauber is still discussing a deal with Stellantis Group, with regards to the Italian manufacturer extending their support. Amid that, they have both drivers – Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi – out of contract for 2022 F1 season.
While there are chats about Raikkonen finally retiring, but it can’t be certain for now, while Giovinazzi’s case will depend on how Ferrari and even Alfa Romeo views him. There are many eyes on both the seats at the Swiss outfit, though.
They also have test drivers like Robert Kubica and Callum Ilott, who could get in, while Valtteri Bottas’ name was thrown in by experienced F1 journalist, should Mercedes replace the Finn by George Russell in 2022. For Vasseur, it is still all too early to talk.
The Frenchman is keeping everyone on toes and any decision will not come in immediate future, but will extend towards the end of the season. Vasseur, though, put question marks over Raikkonen, as it is on the Finn to decide if he wishes to continue or not.
“It is far too early to discuss this,” said Vasseur to media. “We are working together, we have tonnes of races in a row over the last two or three months and I think we discuss together in the last part of the season, not before. To keep the system under pressure is always a good thing. I don’t want to commit for a long time, I don’t want to say ‘Okay guys, you can relax and blah blah’. We have to keep everybody under pressure.
“F1 is all about pressure and we have to keep it like this. We don’t know what could happen around us, in the junior series and in the top of the field and so on and we don’t want to take this kind of commitment today. We know the grid will be fulfilled by the top, Mr Wolff will make his own decision and then Mr Horner and then at one stage it will come to us.
“We are not in a rush to make this kind of decision but things are moving and for sure we have a question mark around Kimi, but Antonio is improving,” summed up Vasseur, who when asked about Ecclestone’s remarks on Schumacher, shrugged it down noting that ‘perhaps he knows more than us’ – hinting that it isn’t the case to be.
From Haas side, Steiner didn’t directly confirmed either Mazepin and Schumacher – even though there is a multi-year deal in place – but simply noted that everything will be clear soon. It appears that the Italian is just playing on a bit with the silly season on.
“I think, it is time for teams to work, it is just started, the silly season, we have to review everything for sure but I don’t think we are far away to confirm everything,” said Steiner, when asked by media including FormulaRapida.net.
The story was co-written by Neil Farrell
Here’s Guenther Steiner on corner entry issue troubling Nikita Mazepin than Mick Schumacher