Mick Schumacher to join Alpine WEC programme, remains Mercedes reserve driver

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Photo credit: Renault Group

Alpine has announced their driver line-up for ther 2024 WEC season, in which the French outfit will enter two cars in the Hypercar class. One of them is current Mercedes reserve driver Mick Schumacher.

Next to the 2020 Formula 2 champion there are four French drivers, consisting of Alpine veterans Nicolas Lapierre, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Charles Milesi, who are joined by countryman Paul-Loup Chatin. The last driver to complete the two three-driver line-ups is the Prince Imperial and Archduke of Austria Ferdinand Habsburg.

Bruno Famin, the vice president of Alpine Motorsports had the following to say about his driver crew for 2024.

“At this decisive phase for the A424 programme, we are proud to reveal the six drivers who will race for us in the Hypercar category in 2024. With Philippe Sinault, we wanted drivers who are not only fast and reliable, but also showing a real team spirit and good racing acumen to best represent the Alpine colors in the premier category of the World Endurance Championship.

“We are absolutely delighted to have these six drivers and we hope they will all bring their own experience and qualities to the project, for example Charles with his youth, Nicolas with his experience in Endurance to mentor the younger drivers, and also Mick, with his experience gained at the highest level. It might be his first foray into Endurance, but his enthusiasm for the project and his will to join us are palpable. I’m sure he will be a real asset.”

For Mick Schumacher, son of seven time world champion Michael Schumacher, the announcement means he will return to active racing duties after having spent the last year on the sidelines as a reserver driver for Mercedes in Formula 1. He tested an endurance prototype in October and according to Alpine his first outing was promising enough to offer him a full time seat.

“A new chapter is beginning for me with Alpine in the FIA WEC Hypercar category,” the German youngster said. “The car is impressive, and I can’t wait to get started. I’ve grown up with single-seaters, so driving a car with a closed cockpit and covered wheels is a great opportunity to hone my driving skills.

“I sorely missed racing this year; it’s what I’ve loved to do since I was a kid, and it was sometimes difficult to watch the other drivers take to the track. Endurance racing is a new challenge for me, and I’m sure we will share great moments together next year with Alpine.”

Team manager Philippe Sinault is already proud of his drivers: “The first word that comes to mind is ‘pride’. I think we made the right choices and I have confidence in this team, which is ideal for us for Alpine in Hypercar.

“There is an interesting balance between long-time, federative, well-known drivers to the team and new faces who have surprised us in recent years. As a French team, we are also particularly excited to have four French drivers in the team.

“There are less than 100 days until the first race of the 2024 season. Testing is almost over, and the team is now complete: we can’t wait to see our beautiful A424s driven by these drivers.”

Mick Schumacher has also announced that he will continue as a reserve driver for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, stating on Instagram that he’s “happy and grateful to be a reserve driver for Mercedes next year. It’s good to stay connected with this great team in F1.”

The team’s challenger for next year, the A424, is planned to be revealed at the launch event on February 7th, 2024.