The involvement of Mick Schumacher’s famous father may have kept the ousted young German on the Formula 1 grid.
That is the view of Ralf Schumacher – Mick’s uncle and a former F1 driver.
Recently, former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said he thought new Mercedes reserve Schumacher, 23, may not have lost his race seat if not for father Michael’s long-term brain injuries.
“With Michael at his side as a consultant, Mick would be a regular driver in the cockpit of a good team,” Ecclestone, 92, told Sport Bild.
“He would have shown him the right way in terms of driving, but also politically.”
Michael’s brother Ralf, who was an outspoken critic of Mick’s Haas boss Gunther Steiner throughout the troubled two-year tenure at the small American team, agrees with that assessment.
“I think it’s a shame that it had to come to this,” Ralf told f1-insider.com, referring to the way Steiner criticised Mick throughout the past two years and ultimately axed him.
“I think that as a seasoned guy you don’t treat a young person like that,” Schumacher, 47, added. “Everyone has to withstand pressure in Formula 1, but that was just too much.
“And that’s what bothers me the most – if my brother had been there, Gunther would have behaved differently,” Ralf alleged.
However, Ralf also acknowledges that his nephew is also responsible for his failed F1 race career.
“You have to admit that Mick was too slow in the first half of the season and caused too much damage,” he said. “If that is then discussed internally, I have no problem with it at all.
“My problem was when Gunther said things like ‘If Mick doesn’t like it here, he can go’. I didn’t understand that at all,” Ralf Schumacher added.
“I don’t think Mick had a fair chance, which is very clear if you watch Netflix as well. I just think Michael’s presence would have been enough.
“Of course, everyone can do as they like. But Mick is family and you have to understand that if you treat my family like that, as Ralf Schumacher then I won’t like it.”