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Vettel praises Schumacher amid Aston Martin rumours

Sebastian Vettel has heaped praise on Mick Schumacher amid reports the Haas driver could be in line to replace the four-time World Champion at Aston Martin in 2023.

Sebastian Vettel has suggested that Mick Schumacher would be a strong candidate for the Aston Martin drive in 2023. Prior to the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, Vettel confirmed that he would be retiring from F1 at the end of the 2022 season. This means Aston Martin will now be searching for a replacement for 2023, with several names being linked with the vacant seat. One candidate is current Haas driver Mick Schumacher, who has been acting as protégé to Vettel and is out-of-contract at the end of the season. When asked if he had already put Schumacher's name forward for next season's Aston Martin drive, Vettel admitted that a brief chat had taken place about potential replacements. "Well, I spoke to [Aston Martin Chairman] Lawrence [Stroll] yesterday and told him that I'm not going to continue," Vettel told media, including RacingNews365.com . "We did have a very brief chat about what might be next and I'll have my opinion. "I think very highly of Mick. I'm obviously not entirely objective, because I'm very close to him, but I do think he's a great driver. "He's a learner, he keeps learning when others sort of stall or stop making progress."

Vettel: Schumacher still has much to learn

Whilst many would support a promotion to a bigger-budget team for Schumacher, question marks still remain over his capability of reaching the next level. He had a strong rookie season with Haas in 2021, regularly out-pacing teammate Nikita Mazepin, but has had a tougher battle against F1 returnee Kevin Magnussen. Magnussen has scored the majority of Haas' points in 2022, with Schumacher only securing his first top-10 finish at the British GP. A strong performance in the Austrian GP weekend has helped his cause, but crashes earlier in the year have put him under pressure to succeed. Vettel stopped short of completely throwing his weight behind Schumacher, and cautioned that 23-year-old is still inexperienced in the sport. "He does have qualities, but he's also very young, and still doesn't have a lot of experience, but it's not my decision," added Vettel. "If I'm asked, I will give my opinion and not hold back, but in the end the team will have to make that decision."

RESULTS 2024 F1 pre-season testing - Day 2