Mick Schumacher is silent on the shaky future of Formula One

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Mick Schumacher turned down several opportunities on Thursday to discuss his Formula One future amid speculation Haas will leave him at the end of the season.

The son of seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher is in his second season with Haas, where he was promoted from the Ferrari Driver Academy. He has been associated with Ferrari since 2019 after winning the European F3 championship.

Schumacher’s contract with the academy is set to expire at the end of this year and Haas, which has an engine partnership with Ferrari, would not be obliged to keep the 23-year-old German if Schumacher is no longer part of the programme.

Schumacher was asked before the Dutch Grand Prix if he planned to stay at Haas for a third season; if he was talking to other teams; and, “what does he see as the pros and cons of what he does in the future?”

He dodged all three questions.

“I see the professionals that I will be racing this weekend and the next weekend and hopefully Singapore and Suzuka and the next few races,” Schumacher said at the Zandvoort circuit. “I’m excited for this weekend and our car should be pretty strong and hopefully we can pick up some points.”

Schumacher was stone-faced when asked directly if he wanted to talk about his plans for 2023 and relayed two other questions about his future. The former asked about any conversations he has had about continuing to be a part of the Ferrari Driver Academy.

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“I think in that sense what is being discussed behind the scenes between us is something that is between us, and I prefer to keep it between us and not speak publicly,” he said.

Schumacher later said “those are contractual matters, which I can’t go into details about” when asked about his future on the F1 grid. If Haas doesn’t retain Schumacher for next season and can’t find another seat, the grid would lose its two German drivers because four-time champion Sebastian Vettel retires.

Schumacher was publicly notified earlier this season by Haas team principal Guenther Steiner to resume his performance. He missed the second race of the season when he crashed in Saudi Arabia and was briefly taken to hospital for evaluation. Schumacher also crashed in Monaco.

He finally scored the first F1 points of his career in July at the British Grand Prix by finishing eighth at Silverstone. Schumacher was sixth the next race in Austria and has a total of 12 points. Kevin Magnussen, who returned to Haas this season after a one-year break, leads the only American F1 team with 22 points.

Meanwhile, Schumacher has regressed from his back-to-back breakaway runs. He was 15th in France, 14th in Hungary and 17th last week in Belgium. Schumacher sits 15th in the 20-driver standings.

If he loses his current seat, there aren’t many options for Schumacher. Daniel Ricciardo was terminated from his contract at McLaren and is looking for work and McLaren hopes to win a fight with Alpine to use Oscar Piastri, Alpine’s reserve driver, to take Ricciardo’s seat.

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Alpine wants Piastri for the vacancy when Fernando Alonso leaves to replace Vettel at Aston Martin.

Schumacher received an endorsement on Thursday when Alpine driver Esteban Ocon said he made it clear to the team that Schumacher is his choice to replace Alonso.

“My choice if I had anything to say would be Mick if he doesn’t have anything planned for next year,” Ocon said. “Mick is a good friend of mine, so if I can help with that, no problem. I think he has shown talent in the lower categories.

“He’s been very fast, you know, at times in Formula One. It’s not easy to perform with a car that’s a little behind, and he’s a great guy and he could do very well if he joined a competitive car and, in right now, Alpine is competitive.

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