Feb.26 - Bruno Famin has played down suggestions Mick Schumacher would be the obvious choice if Alpine loses one or both of its drivers at the end of 2024.

The Renault-powered team has emerged as perhaps the worst performer of all in pre-season testing, raising big questions as Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon's contracts expire.

"We have no pressure when it comes to the driver question," team boss Famin told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport. "We are happy with the two drivers we have."

He does not specifically rule out Schumacher, who is racing with Alpine in the world endurance championship this year whilst also serving as Mercedes' F1 reserve.

"We have many options," said Famin. "Mick is already an Alpine driver.

"But we are currently happy with Esteban and Pierre. Nobody knows exactly when the silly season will really get going again, but nothing happened after the strong movements a few weeks ago.

"If the next phase gets really wild, we have to be able to react. We will be prepared for all possibilities."

It appears that Jack Doohan, Alpine's own F1 reserve, is a stronger candidate, given that he will undergo a significant test program in 2024 - unlike Schumacher.

"There are no plans in that regard," said Famin when asked if Schumacher will get to drive an Alpine F1 car this year. "That wouldn't work at all.

"We already have a reserve driver in Jack Doohan. Mick is Mercedes' F1 reserve driver. The contract we have with Mick is exclusively for long-distance driving."

Russian F1 commentator Alexey Popov doubts Schumacher, axed by Haas over a year ago, has the ability to succeed in Formula 1 - in total contrast to his famous father Michael.

"Yes, he's a nice, polite guy," he said on a stream on the Russian social network VKontakte. "But his dad wasn't nice and polite. He fought and fought and fought. That's what many people don't understand.

"Mick has these two mothers - Corinna and Sabine (Kehm) - who even decide who he is a photographed with and who is not. And that's not how you become champion."

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