F1 race return unlikely for Schumacher – Ecclestone

Wed, 22 February 2023, 07:00

Feb.22 (GMM) Mick Schumacher would still be on the Formula 1 grid if his famous father Michael was in good health.

That is the view of former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, after young Schumacher, 23, lost his Haas race seat late last year and settled for the Mercedes reserve role for 2023.

The German is hoping early talks with other teams results in his return to the grid for 2024, but Ecclestone laments the absence of Mick’s father Michael – the former seven time world champion.

Now 54, Schumacher was just over a year into his second and final retirement from Formula 1 when he fell whilst skiing with Mick in the French Alps in late 2013.

He has not been seen or heard from publicly since then, and the family has kept his condition in the wake of serious brain injuries a closely guarded secret.

According to Ecclestone, 92, Michael’s absence from day-to-day involvement in his son’s Formula 1 career is now being badly felt.

“With Michael at his side as a consultant, Mick would be a regular driver in the cockpit of a good team,” he told Sport Bild magazine.

“With all of his experience, Michael could have given his son so much help. He would have shown him the right way in terms of driving, but also politically.”

Ultimately, after two mixed seasons with the small back-of-the-grid team Haas, young Schumacher also lost his place in Ferrari’s driver development academy.

“He was with the wrong team,” Ecclestone lamented. “Red Bull would have been better for him.

“They would have cared more for him there and built him up.”

Now, however, Mick is under Toto Wolff’s wing at Brackley-based Mercedes, where Michael spent the final three seasons in his own F1 career.

“The burden of the name is heavy,” Ecclestone said.

“Living up to that name is Mick’s biggest problem. It will be difficult for him to find a cockpit now – especially one in which he can win. Sorry to say it.”

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