Mick Schumacher would be an “obvious contender” to take the second seat at Williams for 2024 if Logan Sargeant’s contract is not renewed, according to Formula 1 reporter Lawrence Barretto.
The German, 24, is currently encountering a year on the sidelines after losing his seat with Haas at the end of last year following two seasons with the American outfit.
Unable to find a reprieve elsewhere on the grid, Schumacher was picked up by Mercedes to become the Brackley operation’s reserve driver for 2023.
Schumacher had been linked with a potential switch to replace the outgoing Nicholas Latifi at Williams, but the Grove-based squad eventually opted to promote academy driver Logan Sargeant alongside Alex Albon.
However, the American driver has struggled considerably during his rookie campaign since a promising debut outing in Bahrain, failing to score a single point in his first 12 F1 grand prix appearances.
Therefore, Barretto predicts that an occurrence of Sargeant’s troubles once the racing resumes at the end of this month could open the door for Schumacher to return to the F1 grid on a full-time basis.
“The British team, who sit seventh in the standings, already have highly-rated Alex Albon tied up for 2024,” Barretto explained on the Formula 1 website.
“On the other side of the garage, rookie Logan Sargeant has had a solid but unspectacular start to life in Formula 1, and knows he needs to up his game to stick around for another season.
“Williams have thrown their collective arm around the American’s shoulders and tried to keep the pressure off him in a bid to help him find a rhythm.
“They are backing him to succeed and earn a second campaign in blue – but he needs to not only find consistency but also close the gap to Albon, particularly in qualifying, and get himself on the scoreboard.
“If he doesn’t, his seat is under threat. Mick Schumacher would be an obvious contender, having briefly had talks with the team last year and having kept his hand in through his Mercedes reserve role, where he has earned public praise for his efforts from [Lewis] Hamilton and [George] Russell.”
Aside from his position within the Mercedes set-up, Schumacher’s chances could also be boosted by the existing long-term relationship between the German marque’s Team Principal Toto Wolff and new Williams boss James Vowles.
Vowles previously spent 21 years with the Brackley squad, progressing to the role of Strategy Director before replacing Jost Capito at Williams last winter.
Following Williams’ slump to the foot of the Constructors’ Championship last year, Vowles has inspired an immediate upturn to have the British team sat seventh in the standings on 11 points.
Williams’ resurgence has been led on the driving side by Alex Albon, who also spent time out of the sport when he was dropped by Red Bull after a disastrous 2020.
Intriguingly, Schumacher’s F1 career could have been revived by Red Bull had AlphaTauri Team Principal Franz Tost, who will step down at the end of 2023, received his way.
The experienced Austrian chief admitted earlier this year he was interested in signing Schumacher to replace the Alpine-bound Pierre Gasly but claimed the German’s former Ferrari ties denied such a move.
Eventually, AlphaTauri plumped for ex-Mercedes reserve driver Nyck de Vries, paving the way for Schumacher to take up his current position with the Silver Arrows.