Schumacher will prioritise F1 if Mercedes call-up clashes with Alpine WEC duties

RaceFans Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Mick Schumacher’s Formula 1 reserve duties with Mercedes in 2024 take priority over his race programme with Alpine.

In brief

Alpine explain how Schumacher will combine F1 and WEC next year

Mick Schumacher returns to racing next year as part of Alpine’s World Endurance Championship line-up, but he will continue as Mercedes’ reserve driver in Formula 1 and if he is needed there then that will take priority.

Bruno Famin, who is vice-president of Alpine Motorsport, said “the contract is clear, the agreement with Mick is clear, if he has the opportunity to drive in F1 to replace George [Russell] or Lewis [Hamilton], he will go to F1,” in an interview.

The 2024 F1 and WEC seasons start on the same date, and in neighbouring countries in the form of Bahrain and Qatar, then four of WEC’s remaining seven rounds also clash with F1 races. Should Schumacher therefore need to be called up to F1, Alpine will need to have a reserve driver ready to drive their A424 hypercar on five weekends.

“A reserve driver will be known in due time,” added Famin. “We will have one. From among the Alpine Endurance family if we have a problem, we will find easily a reserve driver.”

F1 one of the most popular live events to visit in 2023

StubHub’s annual ‘Year in Experiences’ report, which looks at the popularity of live events across sport, music and beyond, has shown the impact that F1’s inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix in November made with audiences.

Based on “cumulative, global ticket sales on StubHub North America and Viagogo international marketplaces for events” covering 88 countries, the Las Vegas GP was found to be the third most in-demand sporting event in the world this year. The Miami Grand Prix was in sixth place, the Canadian Grand Prix was in seventh and the United States Grand Prix was in eighth. Last year two F1 rounds made the top 10 in the ranking.

Bustamante apologises for Stroll gaffe

McLaren-backed F1 Academy racer Bianca Bustamante issued a fulsome apology after accidentally ‘liking’ a social media message which described Lance Stroll as having autism.

“I truly deeply apologise,” Bustamente wrote in a post. “I own up to my mistakes having liked an inappropriate tweet.

“I can’t believe all the people whom I have hurt. I was scrolling and I accidentally liked the tweet, once I discovered that later on, I immediately unliked it. As someone who grew up with my only brother having autism, I completely understand the challenges faced by anyone that is autistic. I would never in a million years support ableism at any level, let alone support an ableist tweet against a fellow driver.

“I take the topic of autism very seriously and very personal[ly]. To Lance Stroll and anyone that this has offended, I sincerely apologise as these types of comments is something I do not support. I hope the racing community understands this is 100% an accident, my sincerest apologies for this big mistake.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Social media

Notable posts from X (formerly Twitter), TikTok and more:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Comment of the day

RaceFans’ writers picked their favourite motorsport moments of 2023 last week, and the nomination of NASCAR filling the Le Mans 24 Hours’ iconic ‘Garage 56’ entry for cars that do not conform to the World Endurance Championship’s usual technical regulations resonated with readers.

NASCAR at Le Mans was a celebration of everything cool about motorsport. The dedication of these guys to make this happen, and do well in the process, was great to see. As was their willingness to share their journey online, giving viewers a great look at what it took to bring that car to the track.

It also stood in stark contrast to Toyota’s bean-counter mentality at the same race. They’ve enjoyed many years of unrivalled success, and while they deserve some credit for sticking with the series when others quit, it was very disappointing to see them attempt to divert attention away from their own very messy race week at La Sarthe with a drawn out public moan about minor changes to the Balance of Performance. A BoP scheme that they’ve benefited enormously from, and helped them dominate the entire WEC season.

That Ferrari won was great, but it was even better to see every major manufacturer lead the race on merit, swap fastest laps, and be in contention at different points in the race. It showed that for all the reasonable gripes people might have with BoP as a concept, there’s far more to endurance racing than just the speed of the car, and a team that wants to win has to deliver on all those fronts.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Lazzar!

On this day in motorsport

  • 60 years Jim Clark won a race but did not increase his championship score: He’d already taken the maximum possible 54 points, and the title.

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

15 comments on “Schumacher will prioritise F1 if Mercedes call-up clashes with Alpine WEC duties”

  1. I like this round-up!

    1. No, no.. It was a mistake, I accidentally liked this round-up. Future employers, it was an honest mistake, promise. And my only brother doesn’t like this round-up either!

      1. @Jay
        Don’t worry, I think they won’t mind.
        It was just a gaffe.

    2. Sounds a bit weird, yes, but even so, people should know the impact of social media nowadays, compared to say 15 years ago, so I don’t see how he thought he could like a post that puts a famous driver in a bad light (although he’s not a good driver, being in f1, having a billionaire father and with all the underperformance stories around, he’s famous anyway) without it being discovered and generating a story, causing bad PR for him.

      1. she* reading the articles helps.

        Social media is a blight. You’d be mad to engage with it on a professional level. Do not touch until you can pay someone to manage it and afford a lawyer to look over the contract to ensure you’re protected for whatever they post.

        1. Hmm just noticed no article was linked for that one… Whoops! Worth the google regardless.

        2. Yup. Social media has about 10,000x more downside than upside. It’s basically enabling the collapse of democracy globally.

          1. Coventry Climax
            29th December 2023, 11:34


      2. It doesn’t say which social media it was, but chances are that liking the post involved a single click on an icon. With modern laptops where you have to scroll using the touchpad, I find it remarkably easy to click on things unintentionally so it is not in the least surprising that someone trying to scroll past a load of dross could have liked a post without knowing about it. The problem isn’t Bustamente. The problem is the person who made the original comment and all the people who use Bustamente’s accidental click to pretend they are somehow morally superior people and delight in making an innocent mistake into a big painful issue.

    3. My brother also dislikes this post! So, why would I have ever liked it?! Makes sense, right?!

  2. Oh dear… How sad it is these days that an apology has to be so much more public than the ‘accidental’ act that motivated it – but, well, here we are.

    And Bernie’s still got it – good on him.
    A scandal or fracas or two in F1 never hurt anyone – but Liberty have been hard at work encouraging nothing interesting to happen for years, and now it’s finally paid off.
    The visual representation of a white-out is quite apt.

  3. Ha! The young, spoiled millionaire was for once denied of something. How cool is that? :)
    He has the skills, but the maturity is still to come.

  4. I wish they had allowed Michael to drift away into peace rather than maintaining him in permanently vegetative state (Mick lamenting he wishes he could still talk to his father confirms this). I can’t imagine a worse hell.

  5. Coventry Climax
    29th December 2023, 11:31

    “I truly deeply apologise,” Bustamente wrote


    I even pointed you guys to it..

  6. To whom it may concern: There is a fresh documentary on Michael available on ARD and a long-piece in Der Spiegel on Mick. Both in German, both more concerned on personal traits, characters and how they build and maintain teams around themselves.

    Works very well in combination and it seems that Mick lacks the ‘outside persona’ or killer instinct of his dad.

    Quite worthwhile for fans and those who are interested, because and not despite it’s no rundown of accolades. International fans can run the Spiegel piece through deepl or whatever and I hope the films will be dubbed at some point.

Comments are closed.