Mercedes-AMG F1 reserve driver Mick Schumacher will join Alpine’s Hypercar team to contest his first FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season, partnering with Ferdinand Habsburg and Paul-Loup Chatin, the French outfit revealed on Wednesday.
In 2024, Mick Schumacher will make his endurance racing debut at the wheel of the Alpine A424, combining his new racing challenge, competing in the WEC premier class of endurance racing with his role as reserve driver for the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team.
The team from Brackley retained the 24-year-old driver for another season, as the squad confirmed.
“A new chapter is beginning for me with Alpine in the FIA WEC Hypercar category. The car is impressive, and I can’t wait to get started,” Schumacher outlined.
“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.”
The German tested an endurance prototype in Jerez for the first time last October, getting familiar with the car.
On Wednesday came the announcement of the six racers that will take on a new career challenge with Alpine, a driver line-up that, according to the team, combines experience and speed.
The Alpine Endurance Team two Hypercars entry program includes Frenchmen Nicolas Lapierre, Matthieu Vaxiviere, and Charles Milesi.
This year, Lapierre, a four-time 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner – three with the team – and two world titles winner in the LMP2 category with Alpine, has been acting as a development driver, sharing his expertise at the wheel to contribute to the Hypercard project.
In that regard, the 39-year-old commented: “It’s an ambitious project, and I was quite proud when offered the chance to develop the car. I’m particularly fond of the team. We have enjoyed success, and to return to the Hypercar program is a superb opportunity.”
“We’re facing a new era in endurance racing, with a field more competitive than ever. And to continue contributing to Alpine’s history and go head-to-head with some of the biggest names in motor racing is exciting,” he added.
“We will represent Les Bleus and can’t wait to see the fans at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the other races in the championship.”
New additions, 24 Hours of Le Mans in LMP2 winner Ferdinand Habsburg and former Formula 1 Haas driver Schumacher will join a familiar face within the team, 2021 Daytona 24 Hours winner Paul-Loup Chatin.
Philippe Sinault, Team Manager, asserted: “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.”
The 2024 World Endurance Championship season will start in Doha, Qatar, early in March, making its debut at Lusail International Circuit.
The eight-race calendar includes classics such as the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans, Spa-Francorchamps, Bahrain (season finale), and Fuji.
Meanwhile, the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari (Imola) will replace Monza as the Italian round, and Brazil returns to the WEC for the first time since 2014 for the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo at the Interlagos Circuit.
Austin, Texas, becomes the sixth round, held at the Circuit of the Americas for the Lone Star Le Mans, last staged in 2020.