Mick Schumacher: “WEC is a great championship to be part of”
Photo: WEC

Mick Schumacher: “WEC is a great championship to be part of”

Mick Schumacher reflects on his debut season in the FIA WEC with Alpine Endurance Team before taking on the greatest challenge endurance racing has to offer: the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

By his own account, Mick Schumacher is still finding his feet in the FIA WEC he joined this season as part of Alpine’s two-car effort in the Hypercar class.

“Having a roof over my head is a bit weird at times”, the 25-year-old German racer tells fiawec.com, which is to be expected from a driver whose life and career revolved around single-seaters. “It’s obviously a bit different in some aspects, but I think there are a lot of things that I could bring over to Formula 1,” adds the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team reserve driver.

Alpine Motorsports VP Bruno Famin recently heaped praise on Mick’s mindset, and speed, since joining the French outfit, lauding how seamlessly he has adapted to the specificities of the WEC.

“I’ve always been happy to adapt and I kind of implemented that in other places in my life. In going to WEC, I know what my goal is. My mindset was quite clear and I was sure of what I wanted to do: moving a car in its fastest way possible, all the time and any time, and in whatever car I’m sitting in. ”

This season, Mick is sitting in the brand-new Oreca-chassied No. 36 Alpine A424. After three WEC races this season, Alpine currently sit fourth in the Hypercar Manufacturers’ Championship, ahead of the other 2024 newcomers such as BMW, Lamborghini and Isotta Fraschini.

“Overall, the A424 is a very pointy race car”, underlines Mick. “It’s a car that likes to be driven to a good point where it is aggressive. Hopefully, we’ll be able to extract some more pace out of it. It’s a great car in the way that it is set up, especially for some of the events that we’re going to.”

“The level of drivers and teams is great”

There could not be any event bigger than round four of the WEC: the 24 Hours of Le Mans (15-16 June). The race in itself “didn’t mean a lot” to Mick, but that was before joining the series. “That’s basically the main thing that we’ve been talking about, but I’m at a point where I just want to experience it for myself, meet the fans and make my own impressions of it.”

Thirty-three years after Michael Schumacher’s fifth-place finish with the Sauber Mercedes C11, one of the best-known names in German motorsport returns at Le Mans. For his maiden 24 Hours, Mick Schumacher will benefit from the experience of both his teammates, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Nicolas Lapierre, and Alpine’s too. The team clinched three LMP2 race wins at La Sarthe in the past decade (2016, 2018 and 2019) with Lapierre behind the wheel of the blue-liveried prototype.

“Nicolas has so much experience and that really helps us”, adds Mick. “As for Alpine, you really see their ambition and love for Le Mans. We set ourselves down-to-earth objectives, because you don’t raise too many expectations. To be competitive at Le Mans, you have to finish and that’s a very big goal of ours.”

With 23 Hypercars on the grid, Le Mans is set to be one of the greatest endurance races ever, further highlighting the new golden age of WEC embodied by the competitiveness of its field, which did not go unnoticed by Mick Schumacher.

“It’s only my first year, but from everything that I witnessed so far in WEC, the level of drivers and teams is great. It’s a great championship to be part of. As a racing driver, I always want to compete in the best championships, WEC is definitely one of the very successful ones.”