AlphaTauri wanted Mick Schumacher to replace Pierre Gasly, reveals Franz Tost – as F1 chief insists the Mercedes reserve is ‘significantly better’ than what he has shown previously
Mick Schumacher could have had a spot on Formula One’s grid after all this season, with AlphaTauri interested in taking on the former Haas driver.
He was replaced by Nico Hulkenberg for 2023, with the German partnering former rival Kevin Magnussen, with the former bringing in six points and the latter just two for Haas.
Schumacher ultimately ended up being snapped up by Mercedes as a back-up to Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, but Franz Tost has admitted that he was keen on bringing the 24-year-old to his AlphaTauri set-up.
Tost also suggested that Schumacher – son of all-time great and seven-time world champion Michael – is capable of much better on track than he has previously shown in Formula One.
Franz Tost reveals he was keen to take Mick Schumacher on at AlphaTauri after Pierre Gasly
Schumacher was ultimately taken on as a Mercedes back-up after he was released by Haas
Instead AlphaTauri went with Nyck de Vries, who has struggled to make the step up this year
‘Initially, it was clear to me that our driver line-up would be Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda,’ Tost told Formel1.de.
‘Then suddenly Pierre was assigned to Alpine, and that left a spot open for us. Until Monza, it was completely uncertain who our driver would be. And naturally I thought of Mick Schumacher
‘Mick Schumacher didn’t secure a cockpit for this year. For us, it was then open after the Pierre Gasly situation came to light. He is significantly better than he is currently perceived in the outside world.
‘It was rejected though. We now have Nyck de Vries and there’s really nothing more to discuss.’
With Pierre Gasly heading to Alpine to join Esteban Ocon in an all-French line-up for the country’s best-known manufacturer, AlphaTauri ultimately ended up signing rookie driver Nyck de Vries.
Schumacher scored points just twice over the course of the 2022 season before leaving Haas
De Vries came into Formula One with plenty of promise, having won the Formula E championship two seasons before and finishing ninth the following year, but he has struggled to make the step up at AlphaTauri.
In seven races so far for the 2023 season, the Dutchman has managed just five finishes.
He is yet to score a point, either, with his highest finish 12th place, coming at Monaco two weeks ago, although he did manage a ninth-place finish in 2022 at the Italian GP for Williams, picking up two points.