Binotto wants to see Schumacher stay at Haas in 2022
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has made it clear that he would like to see Mick Schumacher remain at Haas F1 for a second season, and for Antonio Giovinazzi to continue at Alfa Romeo.
Schumacher is 11 races into his Formula 1 career since making his debut in Bahrain in March. So far he’s yet to finish in the points, with his best finish coming last time out in Hungary when he was 12th despite a costly crash in final practice.
That lack of results is in large part due to the lack of performance of the VF-21.
But Binotto said that it was still giving the 22-year-old son of four-time world champion Michael Schumacher valuable experience out of the glare of the spotlight of being at a top team like Ferrari.
“Mick Schumacher’s first season is a learning one, without pressure, and we’re talking with Haas to confirm him there,” Binotto told Italy’s leading sports publication Gazzetta dello Sport this week.
With Schumacher part of the Ferrari Driver Academy, Binotto is involved in the discussions and planning for the young German’s nascent career in F1.
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There have been rumours that Ferrari might be lining up an early promotion for Schumacher to the more competitive Alfa Romeo team, assuming that it decides to opt for a clean slate of drivers for 2022.
Kimi Raikkonen is increasingly looking set to end his marathon stint in F1 at the conclusion of 2021.
But Binotto has given encouragement to those fans who would like to see fellow FDA talent Giovinazzi stay with the Ferrari sister team for another season, while also continuing as the senior squad’s official F1 reserve.
“Antonio remains our reserve driver, he is our first alternative if someone unexpectedly drops out,” Binotto said. “He’s shown growth every year and I hope he can stay with Alfa, he deserves it.
“This year has been more difficult for the Ferrari Driver Academy, but you have to give the guys time to grow.”
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For his part, Schumacher says that what happens next season has not been his primary concern up to now. “It’s been something where I didn’t really put my thoughts.”
However with the teams now on a formal three-week summer break, it seems that the moment for a decision may be fast approaching.
“It’s mainly in the summer break where we’ll talk about it and see what direction we’ll go for,’ Schumacher acknowledged last week.
Ferrari itself is currently tied on points for third place in the constructors championship with McLaren, and faces a battle to beat its rivals over the course of the second half of the season.
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are already on their third engines of the season, meaning that they face grid penalties if they use a fourth in the remaining 13 schedules races of the year.
Binotto confirmed that a new power unit is in progress but won’t be introduced until after the next two high-speed races in Belgium and Italy. “We will have an evolution of the power unit further ahead, not at Monza.
“The rules allowed us to introduce a new unit at the start of the season but we just changed some parts,” he added. “So we can make some changes which will help in a significant way and can foreshadow the 2022 power unit.”
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