Mick Schumacher, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2024

Schumacher ‘better than half the F1 drivers’ and should have seat – Todt

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Mick Schumacher deserves a place on the Formula 1 grid, says former FIA president and Ferrari team principal Jean Todt.

In brief

Schumacher deserves F1 seat – Todt

Former Ferrari team principal and FIA president Jean Todt believes Mercedes reserve driver Mick Schumacher should be racing in F1. Schumacher lost his seat with Haas at the end of 2022 after two seasons with the team and now races in the World Endurance Championship for Alpine.

“Of course he had a few accidents, some of which were his own fault,” Todt told Motorsport Total.

However, he added: “Mick is better than half of the Formula 1 drivers. Mick has what it takes [for Formula 1] without question. Otherwise he would not have won Formula 3 and Formula 2.”

Sargeant excited to race lighter Williams

After several races running with a slightly different specification of car to team mate Alexander Albon, Williams driver Logan Sargeant says he is looking forward to racing with a lighter car in Spain.

“We have weight coming off the car this weekend, so that’s obviously an automatic uplift,” Sargeant told the official F1 channel. “Which is nice and the first one of the season. So I’m looking forward to that and trying to make the most of that.

“My only worry is that this isn’t our best track. Certainly not in the past, but new year, new car. So, hopefully we can find a better window with it and push ourselves further up the grid.”

Beganovic feels ready for F2

Ferrari junior and F3 driver Dino Beganovic says he feels ready to potentially move into Formula 2 with Prema if a seat becomes available.

With speculation that current Prema F2 racer Andrea Kimi Antonelli may be called up into F1, Beganovic says he feels he would be ready to make the step up if Prema need a driver to fill Antonelli’s seat.

“I have not thought about it, to be honest,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “I’m only focusing on my season and what I have to do, so I have not thought about it at all. If it happens, it happens. But I would feel ready for it. But, again, I have not thought about it, before you brought it up.”

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Comment of the day

With Carlos Sainz Jnr still yet to decide who he will race with for 2025 and beyond, Adam wonders why Sainz is taking his time over the decision at all…

I know F1 teams would like the best available driver in their teams but Sainz seems to have his eye on different teams for ’26-’27, and if I were Williams or Sauber-Audi I’d want a driver that actually wants to be there instead of trying to keep their options open for whatever the future brings. Ultimately, with those as his likely choices, I find it weird there is a choice at all – being able to essentially lead a brand new manufacturer, especially Audi, seems like a very worthwhile adventure.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Jcost!

On this day in motorsport

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2009
Sebastian Vettel romped to victory while points leader Jenson Button struggled at home today in 2009

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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38 comments on “Schumacher ‘better than half the F1 drivers’ and should have seat – Todt”

  1. An Sionnach
    21st June 2024, 1:29

    Lightning struck. I was only saying the same thing in another thread not long ago. You’re right, Todt. Alpine might want Mick seeing they’re losing Ocon. I reckon Audi should snap him up for 2025, though. See what he’s made of. They could do with a hard worker who will put the team first and help them to build their car. Mick is clearly not the talent his father was, but the work ethic is there. After the drivers locked into the top teams, you’ve got Sainz, Ocon, Mick Schumacher, and then a load of drivers who are treading water and don’t deserve to keep Lawson, Bearman and Schumacher out. Other options are less clear. If the super licence rules are flexible it would be good to allow teams to take a punt on an IndyCar driver. Those generally haven’t worked out, but it should be up to the teams to judge. They’re the ones taking the risk.

    1. Although even Alpine doesn’t really have him as a top priority.
      Mentioning Audi is interesting, if only they truly wanted him, they’d get not one but two drivers of a certain nationality.
      Btw, I’m a little surprised you didn’t mention Bottas alongside Sainz & Ocon or Doohan in the same mix as Lawson & Bearman.

      1. An Sionnach
        21st June 2024, 9:06

        Doesn’t Bottas go missing too much? When he’s on form he’s a decent qualifier, but how is he in the race? Hulkenberg looks to be one of the most in-form qualifiers out there.

        We’ll see about Alpine. Not long ago I’d have expected both of their drivers to walk. Some of the other teams seem to be competing with them of late to try and steal their poor performance crown!

        Perhaps now Sauber is the worst team, but they have prospects for the future. Maybe Alpine and Haas look the least promising? I’d guess the drivers in the bottom teams are trying to work this out. If they all come to similar conclusions, I’d expect Ocon and Gasly to rise and the lucky poor performers may end up in Alpine or Haas. Perhaps Ocon could even go to Mercedes? He does have issues, but I think they’re overstated. He’s one of the more consistent drivers and his aggression and likelihood to get involved in incidents might be seen as similar to Hamilton if he had any fanatical fans. If he can smooth this out a little, it could be a little more like the edge that Max, Alonso and Hamilton have: something that doesn’t endear him to detractors, but part of the reason why he’s a champion. He shouldn’t take the criticism to heart. He’s got the drive, but it needs tuning.

        1. Ocon is never getting into a good team again. And, yes, Alpine and Haas are far and away looked at as the most hopeless or dead end drives in F1 by drivers and fans alike, unless you’re a rookie who just needs a seat to prove their mettle. Gasly hasn’t even committed to Alpine yet because he’s clearly hoping to get in at Audi. It’s going to be really embarrassing for Audi when the best lineup they can attract is either Hulkenberg and Bottas or Hulkenberg and Gasly.

          1. An Sionnach
            21st June 2024, 11:44

            There could be a championship in it for the strongest Audi driver if, against the odds, they produce a mega car that blows everyone away. That’s the only chance at a championship at a driver who isn’t in the top five.

          2. For no good reason, my intuition tells me that Audi will either overachieve remarkably or fail miserably. I think the majority of us would be happy to have another competitive (as in title contending competitive) team on the grid. It’s the lack of investment in the run up to 2026 and the hesitating to commit that has me feeling the latter is more likely and I think that image they projected is what may have lost them Sainz.

          3. An Sionnach
            21st June 2024, 11:50

            *for* a driver who isn’t in the top five.

    2. If Sauber can’t get Sainz, I’d like to see them give Pourchaire a year, even if it’s just a stop gap until Audi arrive in 2026.
      It wpuld be nice to see a team’s junior driver be promoted, and surely he’d be the cheaper option.

      1. An Sionnach
        21st June 2024, 11:52

        Let’s see. I’m completely speculating, anyway, which I’m sure is obvious!

  2. Toto says he deserves a seat but have they named him as Hamilton’s replacement.

    1. They can’t give him a mercedes seat with what he showed so far, only a midfield or backmarker team could take him, until he proves he’s better than that.

    2. Todt would day this, when his son Nicolas is Mick’s manager…

  3. Sorry but I don’t rate Mick at all and doubt there’d be any chatter at all if it wasn’t for his surname.

    Even in F2 he didn’t show the sort of domination that other previous champions did, so I don’t get why people are treating him with so much hype.

    1. Because of his name, of course.
      At any rate, half of the grid is very debatable – maybe he escapes the bottom 20%, but that’s it.

    2. Saying a driver is good enough for f1 considering the drivers on the grid nowadays is not saying he’s at the level of leclerc and such, I’m sure he’s better than sargeant and would possibly be better than stroll, magnussen and the likes if given the time, he only really had a serious season, given how horrible the car and team mate were in his first season and was showing improvement in the 2nd, unlike a certain sargeant who’s in f1 atm.

    3. how much is anotnelli dominating?

  4. Todt is the only F1 figure who’s been allowed to visit Michael and he’s basically part of the family. So, a) people shouldn’t expect him to say anything different and b) therefore people shouldn’t take it seriously.

    Mick is likely as good as a number of F1 journeymen, but teams don’t take chances on young drivers in the hopes they’ll be as good as a solid journeyman.

    1. Yes, was thinking the same, he’s likely biased also because of his past relationship with schumacher, better than half the grid looks like definitely exagerated for what we saw so far, but he should be able to beat a handful of drivers if given the time, he only really had a serious season, the first season haas was in another formula.

    2. Constantijn Blondel
      21st June 2024, 5:53

      *should take it with a grain or two of salt – ftfy

    3. There is no way anyone can sensible ranks Mick above TEN of the current F1 drivers.

      1. Indeed. MV, CL, LN, GR, FA, LH, OP, NH, YT, EO, PG, VB all ahead of him without questions. I’d also still take DR and SP over him, which just leaves LS, LS, KM, ZG…

  5. Nepobaby

    1. Who?
      Mick Schumacher? Or his manager Nicolas Todt? :)

  6. Better than half is debatable & no more deserving of a second chance than, for example, Gio or Vandoorne in comparison.

    While Williams may be a more competitive option in the short term, Audi, with better long-term prospects, should still be a no-brainer.

    1. @jerejj You right Audi would be a much better place for Mick then they have 2 German speaking drivers. And Mick could use the experience from Nico to get better.

      But i am afraid he never gets a chance anymore …

      1. I see you noted my reply to the top post, which is good & valid, but I referred to Sainz’s option here specifically, i.e., COTD.

  7. Point and Click.

  8. This kind of open partisanship from a FIA president is highly unprofessional.
    He should’ve been asked to name those 10 F1 drivers he thinks Mick is better than.

    1. And it likely only hurts Mick because even though he isn’t saying it, it creates an air of desperation around him to always have these senior figures, including those who could give or find him a drive and don’t, constantly talking him up and saying how everyone is missing out big time. And desperation is off putting.

      1. Yeah, well said. I would call it an aura of pity.

        1. Yup. And pitiable is a big turn off.

  9. It is the same thing as Fernando praising Lance.
    They are just being polite and nice to the people whose world they live and work in.

    Mick is definitely better than a few of the drivers on the grid though so at least Todt’s claim isn’t totally daft.

  10. The push to make Mick look better than he is continues. I don’t understand it… must be his surname or the potential for sponsors because I just don’t see it.

    Half the grid is worse than Mick? Let’s have a look.

    The WDC champions are of course out of the question, so that’s already 3.

    Then there are the race winners: Russell, Norris, Ocon, Gasly, Bottas, Perez, Sainz, Ricciardo and Leclerc. That’s 12 already. So Todt is saying he’s better than two of those? debatable, maybe Perez and Ricciardo are having cuestionable seasons.

    But let’s go further. The podium finishers: Magnussen, Stroll, Piastri, Albon. Better than those? Maybe current Magnussen but he destroyed Mick at Haas. Stroll? probably…

    What about the regular scorers in Yuki, Hulkenberg… I don’t think he’s better than either.

    Then there’s Zhou and Sargeant.

    All in all I don’t think 4 is “half the grid”. And Mick’s own abilities are already a big question mark…

    1. An Sionnach
      21st June 2024, 12:03

      The trouble with most of the current drivers is that we know what their maximum is. Perhaps Russell and Piastri have the most potential to unlock. In the bottom half of the grid we’ve seen them for years. Zhou and Sargeant have had more time in a car than their talents warrant. Mick is better than at least a quarter of the grid. I think one more year should tell if he has potential to outshine some of the others who have already gone as far as their talents and capacity to improve allow. After that, I expect that that Mick will be happy to move on and do something else.

      1. Zhou, Sargeant and Magnussen will all be gone for sure and we’ve got two juniors that will be replacing those drivers, which leaves room for one more prospect on the grid. Is Mick above all the other prospects? Probably not. But I wouldn’t mind if he got another shot. I wouldn’t consider it unfair if he didn’t though.

  11. Laughable

  12. Jean Todt. More friends with the Schumacher family than half the grid…

Comments are closed.