Ferrari’s young driver surplus includes a Schumacher

The Ferrari sporting director, Laurent Mekies, says having three F2 drivers who are fighting for the 2020 title in Ferrari’s young driver program is a good problem to have. Mick Schumacher, leading the championship, Callum Ilott and Robert Schwartzman are among Ferrari’s very talented young driver program.

Schumacher may have a pedigree name at Ferrari and Formula 1 but he also has the talent as he currently is leading the F1 championship. The trio took part in a testing session at the team’s Fiorano track on Wednesday in a 2018 Ferrari SF71H.

Schumacher leads Ilott for the F2 title with Schwartzman in fifth place. There are rumors that Schumacher was promised a spot in F1 if he finished third or higher in the championship. The question is, where would any of them go?

Ferrari has dibs on a seat at Alfa Romeo that is currently being kept warm by Antonio Giovinazzi. There are two seats at Haas but the Alfa Romeo seat seems more likely for Schumacher.

“It’s not a headache, it’s a good problem to have,” Mekies said. “And that’s the sort of thing we want to deal with. The guys are doing a very good job. Mick and Callum are progressing significantly from last year, and they are solid leaders of the championship.

“Robert in his first year is pretty much playing with these guys straight away. So we are very happy with the performance of the three of them. There is a bit more struggle certainly for Marcus [Armstrong] and for Giuliano [Alesi].

“But as far as the three top guys for this year are concerned, we are very happy. It doesn’t give us a headache, it gives us a lot of stability and options for the future. And that’s exactly what we have FDA for.

“Of course, we’re conscious that having three guys potentially getting to the right spot at nearly the same time is not always possible to do.

“But I think we have the tools in what we can offer to them in order to make sure we give them the chance to express their potential as best they can, be it today in F2, testing tomorrow, or a bit more next year, or the year after that.

“That’s what our target is, how do we build the programme that will allow them to express themselves at best?”

Could Ilott find a home at Haas? Possibly but Gene has other options there in the form of Sergio Perez and other, more seasoned drivers. Would he want a rookie in that team? Could he leverage Ferrari’s engine deficit to reduce or eliminate the cost of the supply by giving Grosjean’s seat to Ilott? Who knows? All speculation at this point.

With Schumacher’s name and performance in F1, you might see him in a Alfa sooner than later.

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