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Steiner Criticises Alpine's Driver Choices

Steiner: Alpine F1 should not sign Mick Schumacher

03/06/2024

Günther Steiner, ex-boss at Haas F1, advises Alpine against signing Mick Schumacher, hinting at better market options and questioning team dynamics.

It has been officially announced this afternoon that Alpine F1 will need to replace at least one of their drivers for 2025, as Esteban Ocon will no longer be with the French team at Enstone.

Whether this is a choice by the Frenchman (rumours were circulating well before the Monaco crash) or by the team (a response to the crash to ensure he does not go “unpunished”), Alpine F1 must now seek a new top-tier driver to pair with Pierre Gasly… if he remains.

Indeed, no one disputes Ocon’s talent. But to replace him, Bruno Famin mentioned discussions with Jack Doohan and Mick Schumacher. This marks a step back in terms of experience, aiming for a long-term vision.

However, the German driver has already encountered a stumbling block with comments from his former boss at Haas F1, Günther Steiner.

Is there lingering resentment against Mick? Complaints about his past performances? Not quite…

Steiner emphasised that as a works team, “Alpine should have the money to get the best driver on the market,” citing Carlos Sainz, who will leave Ferrari at the end of the season, and Yuki Tsunoda, who is excelling with RB, as the top choices.

When asked if he would consider Schumacher if he were the head of Alpine, Steiner replied: “At the moment, no.”

“You need to get the best driver you know. I think there are drivers who show they are very good.”

“And as a works team, you must do your best, and Alpine should not sign Mick.”

Steiner believes Alpine should carefully consider the potential impacts of the relationship between their drivers for 2025.

“This will be very important because I doubt they want to relive the conflicts between Ocon and Gasly.”

When asked if, as a team boss, he would be troubled by such conflicts between Ocon and his teammates when considering recruiting the Frenchman, Steiner responded: “Obviously, you think about it, absolutely, you think about it, because it is just something you do not want.”

“And I always say that teammates do not need to be best friends, they do not need to go out for dinner, but they must respect each other. Because in the end, but it is also true in life, you must respect others.”

“If you do not like driving with a certain guy in your team, simply go elsewhere. If I do not like being somewhere, I move on. I do not try to fight to the detriment of someone else, that is to say, the team.”

“So, one of them should have said, ‘I cannot be in the team with this other guy.’ And someone else should perhaps have seen it. Everyone knows the history of these two Frenchmen and apparently, even their parents had to separate them.”

“It is not just saying, ‘Oh, we will be teammates, yes, everything is fine, we have just been fighting for the past 20 years, but now everything is fine.’ At some point, you must stop making your team believe anything.”

Steiner Criticises Alpine’s Driver Choices. Steiner Criticises Alpine’s Driver Choices

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