Franz Tost has revealed that Mick Schumacher was on AlphaTauri's radar for a 2023 seat, prior to the Red Bull-affiliated team signing Nyck de Vries.
The Italian team played a big part in the driver transfers of the 2022 season, with the team wanting to ensure they had a suitable replacement for Pierre Gasly before allowing the Frenchman to sign for Alpine to replace Fernando Alonso.
With Dutchman Nyck de Vries impressing in his one-off appearance for Williams at the Italian Grand Prix, Helmut Marko moved swiftly to sign the Mercedes reserve driver for a seat for 2023.
Prior to de Vries' impressive drive, there had been uncertainty about the identity of AlphaTauri's second 2023 driver, with IndyCar driver Colton Herta and struggling Haas driver Mick Schumacher being loosely linked with the seat.
AlphaTauri Team Principal Tost confirmed that 23-year-old Schumacher had been on his radar prior to de Vries' signing.
"For me personally, he was already a topic [of conversation]," confirmed Tost when asked about Schumacher in an interview with RTL.
The Team Principal confirmed that he "would actually have liked to have Mick in the car", before adding that he is "convinced that Mick is talented and that he also has what it takes to make a successful Formula 1 [career]."
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Tost: Political reasons behind Schumacher decision
When it became increasingly likely that Schumacher would be shown the door at Haas, Red Bull's Motorsport advisor Helmut Marko had been asked about the prospect of signing the German to Red Bull's driver roster.
The Austrian shut down the links, citing Schumacher's Ferrari links as a problem.
Tost backed up Marko's assessment, adding in his RTL interview that no move was made for Schumacher because of "political reasons" and because Schumacher was a "Ferrari junior."
"It then never came to a commitment," Tost added, before admitting: "But personally I think very highly of him."
Schumacher ultimately signed a reserve driver role with Mercedes, with the 2020 Formula 2 champion aiming to follow de Vries' path and return to a full-time drive after a development season with the Brackley-based team.
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