Haas have the only current vacant seat for the F1 2023 driver line-up because they haven’t yet confirmed whether Mick will remain beyond the expiry of his contract this year.

Team owner Gene Haas and team principal Guenther Steiner have had harsh words for Mick at various stages of this season but his uncle has leapt to his defence.

Mick Schumacher's F1 future - STAY or GO?

“Mick has done everything he needs to do to drive for Haas in Formula 1 in 2023,” Ralf told Sky ahead of the F1 Mexico City Grand Prix.

“Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner will also think about it properly and then realise that there is no alternative to Mick. Daniel Ricciardo is not one and Nico Hulkenberg is already on his way towards retirement rather than uprooting trees again. 

“Based on his performances and improvements this year, you can see how much potential can still be expected from Mick. Accordingly, there is no alternative to him.

“That Mick, similar to Ricciardo, will be a replacement driver for another team in the coming season and then get a regular cockpit again in 2024, of course, would always be conceivable. 

“But it is of course better and more important for his development if he would sit in a Formula 1 cockpit throughout.

“And above all, Mick is already in his third F1 year, the car has been developed very well. Due to the cost cap, the other teams will not make any big jumps. 

“Continuity would therefore be important for both parties, because 2023 would be the year where you can reap the fruits of your own work and celebrate even greater successes together.

“Mick has once again proven that he has a strong race pace. In Austin he was super strong and long time ahead of Kevin Magnussen. But then it went backwards. 

“However, Guenther Steiner assessed the situation properly. He said that Mick was very fast for a long time, but then his race became difficult for various reasons. He defended Mick, which I think is great.

“What I also have to say is that Steiner has recently become much more conciliatory in many ways - also in Austin. There have been many insults against the Haas team and also against Steiner personally on social media this season, which I think is a pity and is not the point of the matter.

“One thing is clear: We all want Mick to drive in Formula 1 next year, he also shows the performance and it's nice that they now deal better with each other at Haas. Neither Steiner nor Gene Haas deserve to hear such hate comments.”

Former driver Timo Glock said to Sky Germany: “I’m not sure to what extent a decision has perhaps already been made internally and everything is now being dragged out a bit.

“The hurdle for Mick is very high at the moment. Not because he doesn’t perform as well as he should, but because Haas has other internal ideas.”

Schumacher could have an option with Audi, when they enter the sport from 2026, report Sport1 because the new team will prioritise German drivers.

But that is a long way away for the son of Michael Schumacher who is scrambling to keep his hopes alive of staying for 2023.