6-time race winner and brother of legendary F1 driver Michael Schumacher, Ralf Schumacher believes that the Alfa Romeo team could be in for a major shakeup next year. The German believes that his nephew could get a spot in the Alfa Romeo team where he would replace either Antonio Giovinazzi or Kimi Raikkonen.
Schumacher was quoted saying on SKY Germany that both of the current Alfa Romeo drivers could be replaced with one driver from the Ferrari driver academy and one senior experienced hand who is likely to be Nico Hulkenberg who raced recently at the British GP replacing Sergio Perez in the Racing Point as he tested positive for COVID19.
“Everyone knows about the close co-operation between Ferrari and Alfa Romeo, it would make sense to place a newcomer there,” Ralf Schumacher told Sky Germany. “I also think they are looking for two new drivers, an experienced man and a promising driver. Maybe negotiations are already underway with Hulkenberg,” he added.
Mick Schumacher, who is the son of Michael Schumacher and nephew of Ralf Schumacher is tipped to be the favourite if one is to believe the former Williams driver. Alfa Romeo doesn't only utilise Ferrari's engines in its cars but also is part of the same parent group - Fiat.
Michael Schumacher won 5 of his record-breaking 7 world titles with Ferrari in the early 2000s and ties between his family and the Maranello based team have always been close.
Ralf Schumacher has cited the marketability of Mick Schumacher as the primary reason for the switch as he is the son of the legendary 7-time world champion. Ferrari has three drivers right now in F2 including Schumacher, Callum Ilott from Britain and Robert Shwartzman
Schumacher is currently fourth in the F2 championships behind Iloltt and Shwartzman but his family's history with Ferrari make him a more marketable option. In the past Ferrari team principal, Mattia Binnoto has praised Schumacher but has always indicated that he needed to improve his results.
Despite this, Schumacher has already driven for both Ferrari and Alfa Romeo in in-season testing in Bahrain in 2019.
This would also mean the end of the road for Kimi Raikkonen who is still one of the most popular drivers on the F1 grid. The 2007 world champion till date remains Ferrari's last winner of the world crown. He drove for Ferrari till the end of 2018, before being swapped with Charles Leclerc at Alfa Romeo.
Raikkonen who is currently the oldest driver on the grid at the age of 40 is said to be contemplating his future. In the case, this doesn't happen, and he continues 2021 will also mark one of the oldest grids on the F1 calendar with 39-year-old Fernando Alonso set to join Renault, with Hamilton pushing towards 36 at Mercedes and drivers like Vettel and Grojean all in their mid-30s, in the case both get a seat next year.