Alfa Romeo team boss Frederic Vasseur says Mick Schumacher is unlikely to have track time in its Formula 1 car before the squad makes a decision on its 2021 driver line-up.
Kimi Raikkonen is set to stay on for another campaign but Ferrari-linked Antonio Giovinazzi and Formula 2 leader Schumacher are in contention for the second seat.
Schumacher was set to make his FP1 debut for Alfa Romeo at the Nurburgring on Friday but the entirety of the day’s track running was called off due to the bad weather conditions.
Vasseur indicated that a final decision on its 2021 line-up will be made this month in order to “be relaxed on this for the last four events”.
Schumacher is unlikely to get behind the wheel until the season finale in Abu Dhabi given the nature of the upcoming events and his Formula 2 commitments in Bahrain.
“It’s a pity, for everybody, mainly for Mick,” said Vasseur. “He was really committed, he came to the factory last week, he worked very hard with the engineers, to do the preparation for FP1.
“It is a shame but at least he took something from the preparation. I hope we will be able to do something in the future but for sure it is a shame, but it is not so easy.
“At Portimao everybody will have to learn the track and it’s not the best place to give the FP1, then Imola is without the FP1, then we go to Istanbul but we have to sit down and to discuss with Antonio as it is not the easiest one and then he [Schumacher] has F2 in Bahrain, he is racing in F2.”
Vasseur nonetheless dismissed suggestions that Alfa Romeo would have judged Schumacher’s viability for 2021 on any lap times set during the planned FP1 run.
“Honestly it is not a matter of lap time,” he stressed.
“When a driver is giving up FP1 to someone else the first approach is to avoid crashes and to damage the [chances for] FP2.
“We are asking them to stay a bit calm and then you can’t judge them on the lap time, it would be unfair, it is more on the approach, the way they are picking up the pace during the FP1, what they are able to give to the team, it’s more this.
“If you are speaking on the pace you have to trust more what he is doing in F2 more than the lap time than he is doing in the FP1.
“I am not involved in the F2 team and as a team it is the only way we could have to judge is the attitude, the relationship he can build up with the team, and the feedback.”