Esteban Ocon speaks out on Mick Schumacher returning to Formula 1

Esteban Ocon holds the belief that Mick Schumacher warrants another opportunity in Formula 1 following his unsuccessful two-year tenure at Haas, with speculation swirling around the prospect of the Mercedes reserve stepping in for Lewis Hamilton after his departure to Ferrari.

Schumacher struggled to progress after a moderately promising debut season in F1 in 2022, partnering Kevin Magnussen upon the Dane’s last-minute return to the team, concluding the season with less than half the points amassed by Magnussen.

Despite encountering several significant and high-profile crashes, Schumacher will now blend his testing duties with Mercedes with a full-time role at Alpine in car #36 of the World Endurance Championship after a year on the sidelines at Brackley.

“Yes,” Ocon informed the media, including, at Alpine’s F1 and WEC launch.

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“He does deserve a place in Formula 1, that is clear. Because he’s proved, he’s Formula 3 champion, Formula 2 champion.

“He’s had two years in the back of the midfield car, you need time to prove yourself in F1, learn things and for sure he deserves a seat in F1. He’s one of the most talented drivers out there and for sure deserves it.”

Throughout his junior career, Schumacher demonstrated a tendency to excel in his second year of a series, clinching 12th place in both European F3 and F2 before securing both championships a year later. However, his initial year at Haas was largely squandered in an uncompetitive car alongside Mazepin.

He exhibited improvement alongside Magnussen in the latter half of 2022, notwithstanding a costly crash at Suzuka. Nevertheless, by that juncture, relations had already deteriorated with then-team principal Guenther Steiner.

Schumacher severed his longstanding affiliation with the Ferrari Driver Academy to join Mercedes, but his agreement with Alpine means he’s now racing for his father Michael’s third former team.

“It’s fantastic for the Alpine Endurance team first of all,” Ocon added.

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“To have Mick I think he’s bringing a lot of experience, expertise and he’s obviously a very, very talented driver in general.

“And I really hope that they are going to be winning Le Mans this year, I’ll be supporting, cheering for them and I want to see Mick in Formula One in the near future again.”

Ocon expressed his desire for a driver to contemplate participating in both F1 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, asserting that it could lead to further attempts at the dual challenge in the future.
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