RACE DEBRIEF

    Mick Schumacher will embark on a new challenge in 2024 as he tackles the World Endurance Championship with Alpine, but the German has made clear that returning to F1 in the future remains his ultimate goal.

    Schumacher raced in F1 for Haas in 2021 and 2022 but lost his seat to Nico Hulkenberg for the 2023 campaign, where he instead spent a year on the sidelines acting as Mercedes’ reserve driver.

    READ MORE: Mick Schumacher makes switch to endurance racing with Alpine after ‘difficult’ year on the sidelines

    With all 10 F1 teams opting for unchanged driver line-ups over the winter, Schumacher has instead struck a deal to drive Alpine’s new hypercar – a move that will take him away from single-seater competition for the first time.

    At last year’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Schumacher took some time out to speak to the media, where he reflected on the past 12 months and set out his thinking for the future.

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    Schumacher spent two seasons at Haas, losing his race seat at the end of 2022

    Asked how he feels after processing the loss of his F1 race seat, and put to him that he doesn’t seem to be holding a grudge, Schumacher said: “I mean, it does include a lot of hair pulling and tearing, and I feel like you don’t really see that.

    “Obviously, this is the first media table that I’ve done this year [and] that shows a lot and says a lot in that sense, but F1 has always been a dream and it will always remain the dream.

    EXCLUSIVE: ‘I have to prove I still deserve a chance in F1’ – Mick Schumacher on losing his Haas seat, and his plan to get back on the grid

    “Again, there is no reason to stay here, not race, fall behind everybody… I would rather go out there, find something to race and develop my skills. In the end, if that leads to no way back into F1 but leads to another career, then I am happy to do that.”

    Schumacher will continue to act as Mercedes’ reserve driver alongside his new WEC duties and the 24-year-old made clear that he has taken some valuable lessons from working alongside Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

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    Schumacher spent 2023 embedded within the Mercedes camp

    “I guess the biggest point for me to elaborate on [is] I know as a driver now much more what I want from my team around me, from what I feel like I’m worth and what I can bring to a team,” he commented.

    “Obviously going into my first year in F1 it was kind of hard to know exactly what my position should be, and how far can I go with my comments and everything.

    READ MORE: Schumacher reveals the key lesson learned from Hamilton and Russell after year with Mercedes

    “Having worked with Lewis and George for one year now, I kind of know how high the bar is set and how far I can go, and I have no problem sharing my information in the future.”

    Schumacher has been praised by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff for his “tremendous contribution” in the simulator so far, with the Austrian arguing that he “deserves to be on the grid” again going forward.