Schumacher, Antonelli, to test F1 cars in 2024

Tue, 27 February 2024, 10:00

Feb.27 (GMM) Mick Schumacher may be more likely to test a McLaren this year rather than an Alpine or Mercedes.

The former Haas racer is an official Mercedes F1 reserve driver again in 2024, but he will also return to the race track – Alpine’s Le Mans-ready world endurance championship hypercar.

Alpine boss Bruno Famin, however, has played down the likelihood of F1 tests for the 24-year-old German in 2024.

“That wouldn’t work at all,” he said. “We already have a reserve driver in Jack Doohan. Mick is Mercedes’ F1 reserve driver.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, however, has a new favourite youngster to champion – Kimi Antonelli, who despite still being 17 is regarded as a top contender to replace Lewis Hamilton next year.

Despite F1 testing restrictions, teams are allowed to field two-year-old cars, meaning that Antonelli will take part in an extensive program with Mercedes’ 2022 car later this year.

“It won’t happen until late summer,” Wolff explained, referring to the fact that drivers cannot get their mandatory FIA super license until they are 18.

“But we will run a large test program with him and then see whether he is ready for 2025 or 2026. Or a different situation arises,” Wolff said.

“The market with current drivers is also incredibly strong because really strong people are becoming available. We’re looking at it and there will be an initial assessment after Melbourne,” he told Sport am Sonntag.

As for Schumacher, he is not giving up on his F1 team, working into his new Alpine WEC contract that he is able to leap out of that program if an opportunity emerges.

“It has been agreed that I will drive in Formula 1 if necessary and possible,” he told SID news agency.

“I’m following everything very closely, but ultimately I can only recommend myself again for a cockpit with good performance.”

So even though the F1 testing door appears to have been closed at Alpine and Mercedes, another one remains open – at McLaren, who will also run a 2022-spec car for testing this year.

“If Mick needs kilometres to get used to Formula 1 again, we can offer him a car,” McLaren CEO Zak Brown told Auto Motor und Sport. “We are working closely with Mercedes.”

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