Report: AlphaTauri assesses Mick Schumacher credentials as Daniel Ricciardo seeks early Red Bull entry

AlphaTauri CEO Peter Bayer has discussed the potential of signing Mick Schumacher in the future, but insisted there are already plenty of options within the Red Bull group that are likely to get first preference.

Schumacher lost his seat at Haas and although he took up a role as reserve driver for Mercedes, he is set to depart the F1 bandwagon as he gears up for the 2024 World Endurance Championship.

Speaking with Motorsport-Magazin, AlphaTauri chief Peter Bayer confessed to being close with the Schumacher family and although that can play a part, he wanted to assert that there are a few drivers ahead in the queue before Schumacher gets a look in.

With both Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda eyeing Sergio Perez’s seat at Red Bull, Alphatauri would be wise to keep its options open as far as its future driver pairing is concerned.

While Schumacher isn’t the first name the team will consider, he remains in the reckoning.

Bayer said: “Sabine and I have known each other for many years because of the mentorship I enjoyed from Jean Todt.

“That’s how I know the family. I think Mick [Schumacher] is in a difficult situation at the moment because these decisions are being made very quickly.

“Each driver is assigned to a certain plan. Mick was first a Ferrari driver, now on paper he is a Mercedes driver.

“You always have to keep this dynamic in mind. We currently have a large pool of young talent that we are monitoring.

“Liam Lawson is also here, working and trying to understand the processes. I think our focus is certainly on our own talent pool, but you never know in this sport.

“What is important for us in the end is sporting success. That’s the point. You have to try to find the perfect balance.

“If Daniel [Ricciardo] hadn’t set the times in the test at Silverstone, then he wouldn’t be in the car. I can say that quite openly today. I think that’s exactly where the challenge lies for Mick. How can he prove he has the speed?”

Given how Lawson performed, it is hard to see a situation where Schumacher usurps him to take a seat at AlphaTauri, especially if only one is vacant.

With a number of drivers’ contracts set to come to an end following the 2024 season, there could be significant movement within the F1 camps.

A name like Liam Lawson, owing to his great five-race cameo last season will naturally attract interest from a number of parties.

This may force Red Bull to take an early call on the future of Sergio Perez, with Ricciardo and Tsunoda waiting in the wings to ensure they don’t end up missing out on Lawson.

Meanwhile, a swift entry for Lawson this season could pave the way for Schumacher to come into consideration when teams rejig their lineups next year.

Read more: ‘Mega pressure’ from Helmut Marko at Red Bull chief contributor to F1 driver losing his job: Former racer

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