Ross Brawn believes Mick Schumacher is at "a crossroads" in his Formula 1 career, as doubts remain over whether he will be on the 2023 grid.
Schumacher joined the F1 grid in 2021 with the Haas squad, but a badly off-the-pace car meant he was usually fighting with then teammate Nikita Mazepin to be last and last but one - but was kept on for a second season.
This time partnered with Kevin Magnussen in place of the sacked Mazepin, Schumacher broke his points duck in the British Grand Prix with eighth place, and was sixth in Austria next time out.
However, he had a poor start to the campaign, including two big crashes in Saudi Arabia and Monaco which has left his F1 future uncertain.
Haas boss Gunther Steiner has rated Schumacher's chances of staying for a third season as "50-50".
Brawn, who worked with Mick's father, Michael in their Benetton, Ferrari and Mercedes days believes Schumacher Jr "deserves" to take the next step.
Mick at a "crossroads" in career
"Mick has improved enormously this year," Brawn said when speaking to F1 Insider.
"He has a really good reference in Magnussen as a teammate and he is now at an important crossroads in his career.
"In any case, he deserves to take the next step in his career. And by that he will be measured."
Haas are evaluating other candidates for the seat, including the likes of Antonio Giovinazzi or possibly Daniel Ricciardo, but are in no rush to fill the seat alongside Magnussen who is on a long-term deal.
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Differences to Michael
One trademark of Schumacher's career thus far has been his tendency to need two years in a championship before he can show what he is capable of.
He needed two seasons to win the European Formula 3 title in 2018, before a promotion to Formula 2 in '19 yielded disappointing results but one win in the sprint race in Hungary.
However, in 2020 Schumacher claimed the F2 title, and helped by his Ferrari links was given his Grand Prix debut in Bahrain at the start of '21.
Brawn noted this difference when compared to Schumacher Sr, but reiterated Schumacher Jr's talent.
"He's different from his father, who was always immediately on the limit. Mick needs a little longer, but in the end he also won the titles in the junior classes," observed Brawn.
"He is very talented, has 100% inherited his father's work ethic and is extremely capable of improvement. That is crucial."
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