Schumacher’s attitude a ‘positive surprise’, says WEC team-mate Lapierre

Former Haas Formula 1 racer and current Mercedes reserve Schumacher showed a desire to adjust himself to the multi-driver format of sportscar racing instead of going out for individual glory, according to four-time Le Mans 24 Hours class winner Lapierre.

“When Mick came to his first test, it was in Jerez,” said Schumacher’s Alpine team-mate Lapierre. “For me, when drivers come in from single-seaters, even more Formula 1, there are two options. 

“Either he wants to be a real sportscar driver, share the car and work with his team-mates or he just wants to shine. 

“I was very positively surprised with Mick since day one. He really wanted to work as a team and it suits him quite good as well.

“And his pace was straight away very fast. This we knew [already], we had no doubt about this. 

“The only thing now is to have a little bit of traffic management and this kind of stuff because this is very new [to him].”

Schumacher first got a chance to test the Alpine A424 LMDh last October and impressed the French manufacturer enough to earn a seat in its line-up for the 2024 season, joining team stalwarts Lapierre and Matthieu Vaxiviere aboard the #36 car.

Prior to his Hypercar move, the German driver spent two seasons competing in F1 with Haas from 2021-22, scoring a best finish of sixth on his second visit to the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian Grand Prix.

#36 Alpine Endurance Team Alpine A424: Nicolas Lapierre, Mick Schumacher, Matthieu Vaxiviere

#36 Alpine Endurance Team Alpine A424: Nicolas Lapierre, Mick Schumacher, Matthieu Vaxiviere

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

He remains on Mercedes’ books in a reserve role in 2024 and, if required, can be called in by the Brackley-based squad even on WEC race weekends.

Lapierre believes Schumacher’s experience of working with the title-winning Mercedes F1 squad helps bring a new perspective to the Signatech-run Alpine team.

“He is bringing some good stuff from Formula 1 because he is working with one of the best teams on the Formula 1 grid,” he said.

“So this brings us some fresh ideas, some new feedback, which has also been very helpful in this project.”

Schumacher spent the 2023 season on the sidelines after being dropped by Haas in 2023 in favour of countryman Nico Hulkenberg, electing not to compete in any other category during his first year out of F1.

The German driver reiterated that he is looking for comeback opportunities in grand prix racing, but made it clear his current focus is on his Hypercar programme with Alpine.

“I’m here now, what the future holds is quite difficult to predict and foresee,” said the 24-year-old.


“Obviously, my focus for now is WEC but I would be lying if I would say that I don’t have an eye on Formula 1. 

“There are a lot of things happening right now, who knows what opportunities are presented to myself in a couple of months’ time. I will deal with that when it’s time.”

Schumacher, Lapierre and Vaxiviere finished 12th overall in Saturday’s opening round of WEC in Qatar, three laps down on the winning #6 Porsche Penske LMDh of Laurens Vanthoor, Kevin Estre and Andre Lotterer.

Alpine stable-mates Paul-Loup Chatin, Ferdinand Habsburg and Charles Milesi scored points in eighth place aboard the #5 Alpine A424 to lead a successful return to Hypercar for the French manufacturer.

“We had the pace to fight for the points, which was a bit unexpected, so we can be happy about it and proud of ourselves,” said Schumacher. “It’s great the sister car managed to score.”

Read Also:

Source link