Mick Schumacher shuts down speculation about his F1 future

Dutch Grand Prix
Formula One F1 - Dutch Grand Prix - Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands - September 1, 2022 Haas' Mick Schumacher arrives ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw

Sept 1 (Reuters) - Mick Schumacher shut out speculation about his Formula One future on Thursday as his friend Esteban Ocon continued to push for the German to join him at Renault-owned Alpine as replacement for Fernando Alonso.

Schumacher, son of seven-times world champion Michael, is out of contract with the Ferrari-powered Haas team at the end of the season when he could also leave the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA).

"What is being discussed behind the scenes between us is something I'd rather keep between us," the German said at the Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort when asked about his future at Haas and FDA.

"That's contractual matters which I can't go into detail with," he added.

The Formula One rumour mill has gone into overdrive since Spain's double world champion Alonso announced a month ago that he would be leaving Alpine for Aston Martin at the end of the year.

Alpine announced reserve driver Oscar Piastri as his replacement but the Australian said he would not be racing for them.

McLaren -- linked to Piastri -- have meanwhile announced a split with Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who joined them from Renault, at the end of 2022.

The game of 'who goes where?' has shifted week by week, with the latest rumours linking AlphaTauri's French driver Pierre Gasly with the Alpine seat in what would be an all-French lineup.

Gasly has a contract with his Red Bull-owned team for 2023, however.

Schumacher and Ricciardo could also be contenders, unless Alpine win a contract dispute and can somehow convince Piastri to change his mind.

Ricciardo has been linked to Haas too, although that team have close ties with Ferrari who may also be keen to put their reserve Antonio Giovinazzi into it.

"The team will take the right decisions," Ocon told reporters ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix, adding that Alpine knew his preference.

"People know that my choice if I had anything to say would be Mick, if he doesn't have anything lined up for next year.

"He's a good friend of mine first of all. If I can help on that, that's no problem. I think he has shown talents in the junior categories as well, he's been very fast.

"Sometimes in Formula One it's not easy to perform with a car that's a bit on the back foot. I had that when I started in F1. He's a great guy and he could perform very well if he had a competitive car and at the moment the Alpine is competitive."

Alpine are currently fourth in the 10 team championship.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Christian Radnedge

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