Mick Schumacher says he would feel ready to make his Formula 1 debut earlier than planned if called upon should Haas need a replacement for Romain Grosjean at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Grosjean was discharged from hospital on Wednesday and is continuing to recover from the injuries he suffered in his terrifying crash on the opening lap of last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Frenchman has been ruled out of this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix, with Pietro Fittipaldi stepping in to deputise for Grosjean and make his F1 debut in Bahrain.

Grosjean is targeting a return in time for the Abu Dhabi finale, which is set to mark his last start in F1, although speaking to French media he admitted he will not risk his health if he has not fully healed in time.

"If my left hand doesn't work next week and I'm not able to do everything I have to do with it, I won't take a risk and drive,” he explained.

"But I'm trying to rest as much as I can and follow the doctors' recommendations so that it heals.

"First, it needs to become less swollen, because it's very swollen at the moment. There may have been an impact on the thumb's ligament during the crash.

"My whole left side was hit," Grosjean added. “My left ankle is sprained, my left knee was hit, and I've got nice bruises on my left shoulder, my left buttock and my left forearm.

"I think my left thumb wasn't spared either. Not only this hand is more badly burnt, but my thumb is slightly sprained.”

Asked if he would feel ready to drive if required, Formula 2 championship leader Schumacher - who was confirmed as having agreed a multi-year deal to drive for Haas from 2021 - stressed he would relish the opportunity.

“It’s great if you are considered to be ready to do that, I feel like I am,” Schumacher said.

“Obviously you have three free practices which you have time to learn [in]. It would be a challenge but definitely I think I would be able to get to know the car more to be even better prepared for next year.”

But Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said the American outfit will not “entertain” the idea of a replacement until Grosjean has confirmed whether or not he will contest the final race of the season.

“In the moment the status is I want to see where Romain is on Monday,” Steiner said. “That’s what I agreed with him. I don’t even entertain any replacement or anything.

“We have got enough drivers on standby that can drive so I’m not worried about it and we just take that decision [if] we know 100% that Romain cannot drive

“If he can finish his time with Haas in a race, that’s what I would like, not just watching it. That is our aim.

“That is what we spoke with him. I said I fully support that you want to go out on a high and he said if I can do it that is what I want to do. Therefore I am quite regimental on that one. We are not deciding anything before we know that he can definitely not drive.”

 

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