Former F1 race winner Ralf Schumacher believes nephew Mick holds a strong chance of landing the Mercedes seat to be vacated by Lewis Hamilton at the end of the season.
Seven-time Drivers' champion Hamilton will make the move across to Ferrari in one of the biggest switches in the sport's history, bringing an end to what will have been a 12-season partnership with the Silver Arrows.
The announcement has led to instant speculation over who will fill the gap alongside George Russell, with at least half the grid out of contract at the end of the campaign.
German Schumacher, who raced for Haas across two seasons before being dropped at the end of 2022, has assisted Mercedes in his reserve and development role and uncle Ralf, who now works as a pundit, wrote in his Sky Germany column that Mick has earned his chance.
"There won't be quite so many candidates [for the seat]," said Schumacher.
"It's a question of what Toto Wolff wants to do. Russell, if he doesn't make any mistakes, is certainly capable of following in Lewis' footsteps and leading the team. The question now is whether to go for experience or bring in new, young people.
"Mick would certainly be one of the best options in the young field, but of course, there is also Carlos Sainz on the market, even if I think he is more likely to end up at Audi.
"I think Mick's chances are good and I think he deserves the chance. Alongside Russell, he would be a man to build up for the future. I'm pretty confident about that, now Toto Wolff just has to be of the same opinion.
"But so far I've only heard positive things about Mick from him."
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Hamilton move 'surprising but understandable'
Giving his reaction to Hamilton's move, the announcement of which comes after two winless seasons with Mercedes, Schumacher pointed to a key figure in the Briton's rise through the ranks being placed at Ferrari which may have swayed his decision making.
"It was surprising at first, but then understandable," added Schumacher.
"Lewis really wants to win and I think he has lost a bit of confidence in the team and the structure at Mercedes over the last two years. Those two years were difficult.
"You also shouldn't underestimate the fact that Frederic Vasseur's bond is a very long and well-known one and I'm sure he promised him everything."