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Mick Schumacher

Ex-FIA boss makes striking claim over Schumacher’s F1 level

Former Ferrari team principal and FIA president Jean Todt believes Mick Schumacher is more than deserving of a place on the F1 grid.

Schumacher Alpine
To news overview © XPBimages

Jean Todt has claimed Mick Schumacher "deserves" to be in F1, arguing he is "better than half" the current grid.

The former Ferrari team principal and FIA president said he wants to see Schumacher return the series, having been dropped by Haas at the end of 2022 - after just two seasons in F1.

Since being replaced by Nico Hulkenberg at the American team, the 25-year-old has held the reserve driver position at Mercedes, where his father, Michael, finished his F1 career in 2012.

He is dovetailing that role with being brought into the Alpine stable, as part of its WEC programme, which saw the German driver compete in this year's 24 hours of Le Mans.

However, to Todt, Schumacher is capable of a return to F1 - which the driver himself says is his primary aim.

"I want to see him achieve the goal of his dreams and am convinced that he deserves a place in Formula 1," the 78-year-old told Sport Bild.

"Mick is better than half the current Formula 1 drivers."

Schumacher name a burden, not a benefit

Todt was team principal at Ferrari during Michael Schumacher's run of five consecutive drivers titles in the early 2000s. 

Early in his career, Mick raced under his mother's maiden name, Betsch, in order to avoid unfair comparisons to his father and to alleviate undue added pressure and expectation.

Whilst he did eventually adopt his surname professionally, Todt thinks it has been a hindrance, rather than a help.

"Many people think that his last name is an advantage, but it became a disadvantage," he contended. "The pressure put on him was unfair."

Schumacher handily beat team-mate Nikita Mazepin in 2021, despite the Haas too uncompetitive to come close to scoring points. However, he did suffer a number of high-profile crashes.

The following season, with Haas - and new team-mate Kevin Magnussen - able to fight for points, the scrutiny over Schumacher's performances grew. 

He could only manage half the points Magnussen could, and the costly accidents continued, something Todt acknowledges: "Of course he has also had a few accidents, some of which were his own fault."

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