Saturday, April 20, 2024

Mick Schumacher is reserve driver for Mercedes


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Mick Schumacher is to be the Mercedes reserve driver in 2023.

The German, son of seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, lost his race seat for 2023 when the Haas team dropped him in favour of veteran Nico Hulkenberg.

Schumacher’s Mercedes role will see him work in the team’s simulator and be ready to stand in should Lewis Hamilton or George Russell be unable to race.

“Mick is a talented young driver. We’re delighted to have him join,” Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said.

“He is a hard worker, has a calm and methodical approach and is still hungry to learn and improve as a driver. These are all important qualities.

“We also know that with two years of experience racing in F1 under his belt, he will be ready to step into the car at short notice to replace either Lewis or George, should that need arise.”

Schumacher, who will attend all grands prix during the 2023 season, said he was “thrilled” to take on his new role.

“I am committed to give it my all to contribute to their performance in this very competitive and professional environment,” the 23-year-old said.

“I take this as a new start, and I am just excited and grateful to Toto and everybody involved for putting their trust in me.

“F1 is such a fascinating world, and you never stop learning, so I look forward to absorbing more knowledge and putting in all my efforts for the benefit of the Mercedes team.”

Prior to Mercedes’ announcement, Ferrari put out a statement saying they had cut all links with Schumacher, who had been a member of their driver academy since 2019.

Schumacher raced for Haas for two seasons, with a best result of sixth place at the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix.

Haas felt that he had been out-performed by team-mate Kevin Magnussen on the Dane’s return to F1 in 2022 and regarded Hulkenberg as a more competitive proposition for next season.

The Schumacher name has strong links with Mercedes.

Michael ended his F1 career with the team when he made a return to the sport in 2010 to coincide with the establishment of the current Mercedes factory team, retiring for the second time in 2012.

And Mercedes paid for Michael to start his career in F1, when they bankrolled his debut with Jordan at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix.

Schumacher, who was competing for Mercedes in endurance racing at the time, was immediately snapped up by the Benetton team, transferring across for the next race in Italy.


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