Ralf Schumacher has had his say on the ongoing Daniel Ricciardo situation, stating that he does not believe the Australian has a future in Formula 1.
Schumacher – a six-time F1 Grand Prix race winner and brother to seven-time world champion Michael – shared his thoughts on the messy McLaren-Alpine contract saga during an interview on Sky F1 in Germany.
With one year remaining on his contract, the 33-year-old is now set to search for a new team on the F1 grid, with Alpine seen as the most likely option.
However, according to Schumacher, there may not be a spot available at all for Ricciardo in 2023.
As for who else could take the vacant seat at Alpine, the German former racing driver has backed his nephew and current Haas driver, Mick.
“The names are there, with every cockpit. Mick [Schumacher] hasn’t signed a contract yet either. So he would be a candidate. A candidate with speed, as you can see,” Schumacher told Sky F1.
“Nico Hülkenberg is also still in the starting blocks.
“And then there’s the question of Daniel Ricciardo.
“Personally, I can’t imagine that he’ll get another chance in Formula 1. But I wouldn’t know who Alpine should take at the moment.”
Schumacher is also of the belief that Piastri will not drive for Alpine next season, despite spending this year as the team’s reserve driver and previously being a part of their academy.
In a chaotic start to the F1 summer break, veteran driver Fernando Alonso announced his move to Aston Martin, opening the door for Piastri to drive for the Renault-owned team in 2023.
Alpine then went on to publish a media release confirming the signing of the young Australian, only for Piastri to openly deny the deal hours later.
Schumacher has put his support behind the 21-year-old, arguing that he has done nothing wrong in the recent saga.
“The morale is completely out of place. I’m sorry,” he said.
“I like Otmar [Szafnauer] (the Alpine F1 team principal), but he himself is disappointed with his own performance, that he didn’t see Alonso coming and that he doesn’t have a plan B.
“That’s the embarrassing thing about the whole thing. Accordingly, he has to blame himself. Oscar didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Ultimately, [Alpine] could have questioned Alonso earlier and conveyed to Piastri that they would be counting on him in the future.
“He won Formula 3 in the first year, as well as Formula 2. What should he wait for?
“I would have done the same if I had received an offer. And McLaren are certainly a top team.”
F1 will return from summer break later this month, with the Belgian Grand Prix to be held between August 26-28.