Ex-F1 driver Ralf Schumacher believes Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko dismissed nephew Mick Schumacher’s candidature for a seat at AlphaTauri this season for “personal reasons”.
Schumacher was dropped by Haas at the end of last year, but during the period that preceded his exit from the US outfit, AlphaTauri was singled out as a possible destination for the 24-year-old.
In the end, Alphatauri recruited Nyck de Vries while Schumacher was left without a driver for 2023. However, Mick was picked up by Mercedes as the Brackley squad’s official reserve driver for this season.
In an interview with German website Formel1.de, Ralf Schumacher suggested that AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost had shortlisted his nephew has a potential teammate for Yuki Tsunoda, an option that Marko vetoed according to the six-time Grand Prix winner.
“Franz Tost, as the team manager and team principal, initially wanted a different driver [than de Vries] because he knows that it takes two to three years [to build up a driver’s potential],” Schumacher explained.
“The driver available on the market was Mick. Mick would have made sense as well.
“But then Helmut Marko came along and, for personal reasons or whatever it may be, didn’t want that and chose Nyck de Vries, instead.”
Schumacher conveyed his impression that Marko is for some reason opposed to his nephew joining the Red Bull family.
“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.”
Mick Schumacher ambitions to return to active-duty next season in Formula 1, and his uncle still sees AlphaTauri as a good fit for both team and driver.
“To be honest, I don’t see anyone else in the squad who would fit in there at the moment,” added the former Williams, Jordan and Toyota driver.
“That’s why I’m surprised by what Dr. Helmut Marko is doing.”
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