Alfa Romeo say that Mick Schumacher is an option to test for them at one of this year’s in-season tests, possibly as soon as the Bahrain test.
After winning the European Formula 3 title in 2018, Mick Schumacher’s career has picked up serious momentum. An eye-catching, if unimportant, performance alongside and against Sebastian Vettel with Team Germany in January’s Race of Champions came right after the announcement of Schumacher’s signing to the Ferrari Driver Academy.
This signing means that Schumacher, son of 7 time World Champion Michael, has direct links to Ferrari and their unofficial secondary team Alfa Romeo. Mick will be driving for Prema Powerteam in Formula 2 in 2019, the team closely linked with Ferrari in the junior categories.
There are four days of in-season testing each year, with two days at Sakhir after the Bahrain Grand Prix and two days at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya after the Spanish Grand Prix. Out of those four days of testing for each team, two of them must be done by a ‘rookie’ driver – that’s a driver who has completed two Grands Prix or less.
Speaking to Formula1.com on Tuesday, Alfa Romeo Team Principal Frederic Vasseur confirmed that Mick Schumacher is a potential candidate to test with them as he fulfils the criteria for young drivers: “There is a shortlist and Mick is part of the shortlist because he is one of the guys in F2 who fits the criteria to be eligible for the rookie test – the choice is quite limited”.
Vasseur explained that the decision will be made based on whether the Alfa technical department need a more experienced hand to evaluate updates or not: “The first priority is to know when we will introduce big updates,” he said. “If we’re not ready for big updates in Bahrain, we can do the rookie tests and do proper tests with current drivers in Barcelona. Or we could split and do one at one test and one at the other. It’s a technical decision.”
Vasseur was keen to stress that, while Schumacher is an option for them, he is far from guaranteed from being granted the place: “We have not made a decision yet. There are several names on the list. We will continue to evaluate the options available and discuss with Ferrari.”