Mick Schumacher’s contract with the Ferrari Driver Academy is set to expire at the conclusion of the 2022 Formula 1 season, and without that incentive, it sounds like the Ferrari-engined Haas team is looking for a replacement, Motorsport.com reports.
Schumacher first signed with the Ferrari Driver Academy in 2019 after winning the previous season’s European Formula 3 Championship, with Ferrari stressing that the signing had nothing to do with Michael Schumacher, Mick’s father. Rather, it was based on merit. Now, without many strong F1 finishes to rely on, it looks like the merit argument has run its course, with the contract coming to a “natural end,” Motorsport.com reports.
Further, with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. both locked into long-term deals at the Ferrari works team and with both Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu rumored to be locked in at Ferrari partner team Alfa Romeo, there’s little incentive to retain Schumacher without a seat to fill in the near future.
The driver market in F1 is currently in flux, but even with all of the coming changes — Daniel Ricciardo out at McLaren, Fernando Alonso leaving Alpine, Sebastian Vettel retiring from the sport — there are limited seats available to him. Right now, the only options are at Alpine and Williams, and both vacant seats have already been associated with names like Nico Hulkenberg.
Further, Schumacher had previously been linked to a seat at AlphaTauri, with Red Bull scooping up the former Ferrari Academy driver — but even that seems increasingly unlikely, since Colton Herta has now entered the picture as a viable candidate.
The Haas seat is likely to be filled by Antonio Giovinazzi.
The 2021 season was a rough one for both Haas drivers, but after Nikita Mazepin lost his seat due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, replacement Kevin Magnussen has shown that the Haas is capable of scoring a handful of points.