All hope for Schumacher. Why the success of the German is the last chance for Schwartzman to get into F-1
In order for a Russian (or an Israeli?) to take a place on the starting grid, several conditions must match. But this is not fantasy!
One of the most promising Russian racers, Robert Shvartsman, spends the 2022 season on the bench. Prior to that, he had been in Formula 2 for two years, winning races and fighting for titles, but both times they were inferior. Missing one season is unpleasant, but not so critical for a racer, but after two years on the bench in big races, you will be forgotten. The 2023 season is Robert’s last chance to be in Formula 1, but several conditions must develop at once …
Schumacher must go
Robert will be able to break into the starting grid only through Haas. Almost all other teams have their own replacements in case of parting with one of the current pilots, but the American team has Pietro Fittipaldi in the reserves – but the Brazilian has not played in the formulas on a regular basis for two years, and in the winter, when he break with Nikita Mazepin, Kevin Magnussen was preferred to him.
A two-year contract was signed with the Dane in the winter – he will continue to race for Haas next year, but Mick Schumacher has no place for the 2023 season yet. And if in the first joint races with Magnussen, the German looked rather weak, then lately he has been improving – reaching the final of the qualification, gaining points.
Mick scored 12 points in the last two races
Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
And it is possible that these successes will allow Mick to move to a bigger team: Haas has made considerable progress in the 2023 season, but there is still no confidence in the stable future of the team. In addition, at Haas, Schumacher remains in the shadow of the more experienced Magnussen, but in a new place he could start all over again and become an intra-team leader.
In theory, Schumacher could move to Alfa Romeo in place of Guanyu Zhou – but then the Chinese would almost certainly take the place of the German in Haas, and there would still be no place for Schwartzman. Therefore, two more conditions must coincide …
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Ricciardo must fail and make way for Vettel
For the second year in a row, Ricciardo cannot cope with McLaren and is consistently inferior to Lando Norris – last year the team defended the Australian, but the fact that he adapted to the new car much worse than his partner is disappointing. Zach Brown, the head of McLaren, says in plain text that Daniel does not live up to expectations.
It is believed that the Australian has a contract for the 2023 season, but so far neither the driver nor the team has confirmed. As a possible replacement for Ricciardo in the paddock, IndyCar racers Colton Herta, Alex Palou and Patricio O’Ward are called, who are waiting for private tests on last year’s car. At the same time, a contract with one of them would be a sensation – it is extremely rare for teams from the top 5 of the Constructors’ Championship to sign contracts with racers with such a low overrun in an F-1 car.
Riccardo’s departure may open the way for Schwartzman
Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images
At the same time, Fernando Alonso could replace Riccardo – the Spaniard is hardly satisfied with the speed and reliability of Alpin this year, but this alignment will not help Schwartzman. But if Daniel’s place is taken by Sebastian Vettel, a vacancy will open at Aston Martin – and Schumacher can move from Haas there. In terms of speed, Aston Martin is still inferior to Haas, but with the budgets of Lawrence Stroll, the team has great prospects, and Mick could build an independent career and become the face of a cult brand.
Theoretically, Schumacher can replace Vettel at Aston without leaving the four-time champion in Woking. It is possible that Seb will simply decide to end his career in Formula 1 against the backdrop of vague prospects: there is no fight for victories in 2023. At the same time, Vettel will be pleased if he passes the baton to Schumacher, with whom he has a very warm relationship.
And then a place in Haas will be vacated, and Schwartzman will be the best option for a replacement. Robert’s connections with Ferrari, as well as his already considerable experience in tests, both with Scuderia and Haas, should play a role.
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Waiting for Fridays
The scheme turned out to be rather complicated, but not impossible. In addition, in Formula 2, Schwartzman proved that he can drive fast on long stretches and is accurate in the fight for position, the Russian has something to give to Formula 1.
So far, however, we are talking about Robert driving a couple of Friday training sessions during the Grand Prix days – from this year, teams are required to provide cars to young pilots twice a year. Having shown himself well in them, Schwartzman will be able to remain on the radar of the World Cup.
Well, if the Formula 1 option doesn’t work out, we’ll wait for Schwartzman at Le Mans – Ferrari is preparing an endurance hypercar to put the team in the top category of the WEC World Championship.
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