As part of their relationship with Ferrari, the Scuderia had the right to choose one of Alfa Romeo’s drivers for 2021.
Alfa Romeo first became involved with the Sauber team back in 2018, forming Alfa Romeo Sauber before becoming Alfa Romeo from 2019, though they continue to work alongside Sauber Motorsport.
As part of the deal, Ferrari have control over one of the seats at the Alfa Romeo team.
Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi had formed the line-up for 2019 and 2020, with team boss Frederic Vasseur stating that Raikkonen was never really in danger of losing his place.
The choice then for Ferrari came down to Giovinazzi or Mick Schumacher, with the Scuderia deciding to keep Giovinazzi at Alfa Romeo while Schumacher landed a Haas seat for 2021.
“The seat is part of the deal with Ferrari and it was more in Ferrari’s hands and the FDA’s side to decide the second seat,” Vasseur told GPFans Global.
“It was more between Antonio and Mick than Kimi and Mick. They took the decision to keep Antonio. We had a couple of discussions, Antonio deserves it also because he did a good improvement compared to last year.
“He is still improving, he is now matching Kimi in quali and the race pace also. He is doing a great job and okay, the choice was not an easy one between Mick and Antonio but that is the advantage they have between us and Guenther [Steiner] at Haas.
“They put Mick in the Haas and that is fine for me.”
Vasseur continued by stating that he wasn’t disappointed to see Schumacher join Haas, while also making it clear that the Ferrari youngster should be seen in his own light, not just as the son of seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher.
“It would have been nice but I don’t want to be focusing on it and I think it is also a challenge for Mick,” he said.
“I don’t want to be focused on the name or something like this. We have to concern Mick as a driver and not as the son of… it is tough for him.
“When he was not far away from doing the FP1 for us, I always tried to have the same approach with him, to talk just about himself and the decisions and not to make any comparisons or to speak about the name because I think this is more than Mick.
“Now we have seen what has happened, he did a solid season in F2. He struggled a little bit at the beginning last year and maybe on quali pace but he did a really solid race and he did a good job. Let’s see what happens.”