Mercedes will prioritise attempts to get Esteban Ocon back into Formula 1 for the 2020 season ahead of a potential swoop for European F3 champion Mick Schumacher. It has been recently reported that Schumacher would favour a move into Ferrari’s junior programme ahead of Mercedes’.
Schumacher’s reported decision may be somewhat influenced by Ocon’s 2019 plight, put into context against Charles Leclerc‘s graduation to Ferrari.
With Ocon and also George Russell on the path to Mercedes as it stands, Wolff says bringing in another prospect is unlikely – regardless of the allure that signing the son of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher holds.
“He has won his Formula 3 title with a Mercedes engine in the rear. But for now, you have to give him time to develop,” Wolff told Bild.
“In our junior program there is currently very little space. My priority is to find a seat for Esteban Ocon in Formula 1 again in 2020.”
Schumacher Jr has progressed through the junior ranks unbacked by any F1 giants as he has been able to afford to pay the growing costs of performing at lower levels himself.
Wolff has previously talked up the 19-year-old’s talents, but Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has said that the Scuderia would welcome him into their fold as Schumacher Sr’s former employers have gone head to head.
Although Ocon lost a racing seat for the 2019 season, Mercedes recruited him as their reserve driver. Now, Bottas will be under pressure to perform, knowing that Ocon is lurking nearby ready to swoop in.
With regard to junior drivers, Mercedes are spoilt for choice with Ocon and even George Russell. If Mick Schumacher were to join the roster, things would be very interesting.