UNITED KINGDOM: In a surprising turn of events, iAlphaTauri boss, Franz Tost, has revealed that Red Bull overruled his recommendation to sign Mick Schumacher for the 2023 race seat. Tost had put forward Schumacher’s name, believing him to be a better choice than the eventual pick, Nyck de Vries. However, Red Bull bosses had different plans and opted for the Dutchman instead.
AlphaTauri initially believed that confirming their driver lineup, consisting of Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly, was a mere formality for the 2023 season. However, midway through last year, Alpine approached Gasly, leading to his departure from the team.
Red Bull agreed to release Gasly and signed Nyck de Vries, who had impressed with a remarkable one-off drive at the Italian Grand Prix, scoring points for Williams despite their struggles.
Tost, however, had different ideas and saw Mick Schumacher as the ideal candidate for the seat.
Without a contract for 2023 after being dropped by Haas, Schumacher was available for 2023, and Tost recommended him to Red Bull.
Schumacher is “much better than he is currently perceived by the outside world,” according to Tost. However, AlphaTauri’s sister team rejected his recommendation.
De Vries, who is yet to score points this season, secured the seat at AlphaTauri despite Tost’s preference for Schumacher.
The decision was made based on performance rather than marketing, according to Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, who refuted claims that personal issues played a part in the rejection.
These revelations come in the wake of Ralf Schumacher’s statement that Helmut Marko had a “personal” issue with Mick Schumacher, leading to his exclusion from the AlphaTauri drive.
Ralf’s nephew, Mick, had hoped to secure a seat and even garnered brief links to Williams.
However, William’s team principal James Vowles made it clear that he was content with the current lineup of Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant. With limited options for the 2024 season, Mick Schumacher’s chances of returning to the grid appear slim.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff acknowledges the unfavourable situation for Schumacher in 2024 but remains optimistic about opportunities in 2025. The decision to overlook Schumacher in favour of de Vries stirred up discussions and debates within the Formula 1 community.