Franz Tost, who said in April that Mick Schumacher needs three years in F1 before any Ferrari move, has made another plea for patience.
Only this time, the AlphaTauri team principal is referring to Schumacher’s career in general following another big crash at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Tost was something of a mentor to Mick’s father, Michael Schumacher, and his uncle Ralf in the early stages of their careers.
He is also now a kind of father figure at AlphaTauri, the sister team where Red Bull blood their junior drivers in Formula 1, the latest of which is Yuki Tsunoda.
A member of the Ferrari Academy, it is thought the Italian giants are assessing Schumacher during his second season at Haas with a view to promoting him to the Scuderia’s line-up at some point over the next few years.
A couple of months ago, Tost said Schumacher “has to drive somewhere else for another three years” before securing such a promotion.
But now, after a third costly crash of the campaign at the Monaco Grand Prix, following expensive shunts in Saudi Arabia and Miami, there are questions being asked about whether Schumacher has a real future in Formula 1 at all.
Tost believes he does, however, telling F1-Insider: “You shouldn’t write Mick off too quickly now.
“I continue to believe in him. You mustn’t forget Mick won Formula 3 and Formula 2. That doesn’t happen by accident.
“Mick maybe just needs a bit more time. He should be given that. It’s only his second Formula 1 season and we have completely new cars that are difficult to drive.”
Along with the recent spate of accidents, Schumacher is also still seeking his first F1 points and has competed in 29 races without scoring.
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner described the Monaco incident, in which the car broke into two pieces, as “not very satisfactory – we need to see how we move forward from here” with another big repair bill having been racked up.
Norbert Haug, the former Mercedes motorsport vice-president who worked alongside Mick’s father Michael from 2010-12, said of the 23-year-old: “He’s a learner.
“He just tries to get everything out of the car. If you turn in a few centimetres too early, that can have nasty consequences.
“Nevertheless, the team should stand by him now. If he can untie the knot in his system, he will also score points.”
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