Former German driver Ralf Schumacher holds the belief that his nephew, Mick Schumacher, was overlooked for a seat at AlphaTauri for the 2023 season due to the personal motives of Dr Helmut Marko.
After spending two seasons with Haas, Mick Schumacher was released by the team at the end of 2022, and Haas opted to bring in Nico Hulkenberg as his replacement.
There were some speculative connections between Mick Schumacher and a potential AlphaTauri drive alongside Yuki Tsunoda. However, the team ultimately decided to sign rookie Nyck de Vries instead.
Mick Schumacher has assumed the role of reserve driver for Mercedes in 2023, providing valuable support to the Brackley-based team during a period of on-track challenges.
In a recent interview with Formel1.de, Ralf Schumacher revealed that AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost had initially shown interest in Mick before Dr. Helmut Marko intervened.
“Franz Tost, as the team manager and team principal, initially wanted a different driver because he knows that it takes two to three years [to get drivers up to speed],” Ralf remarked.
“The driver available on the market was Mick. Mick would have made sense as well.
“But then Dr. Helmut Marko came along and, for personal reasons or whatever it may be, didn’t want that and chose Nyck de Vries, instead.”
Expressing his candid opinion, Ralf Schumacher voiced his surprise at Dr. Helmut Marko’s decisions, stating, “It seems that Helmut Marko has a problem with the Schumacher name.”
“Even though I have a good exchange with him personally, it seems he has some problem with Mick because otherwise, it’s not understandable to me why it didn’t work out from the beginning.”
As Schumacher sets his sights on a comeback to the Formula 1 grid in 2024, the possibility of joining AlphaTauri becomes increasingly viable, particularly considering Nyck de Vries’ difficult start in F1.
While Red Bull boasts an array of talented young drivers who could potentially fill the seat at their sister team, Ralf Schumacher firmly believes that his nephew is the most suitable candidate for the role.
“To be honest, I don’t see anyone else in the squad who would fit in there at the moment, that’s why I’m surprised by what Dr. Helmut Marko is doing,” Ralf concluded.