Mick Schumacher has been offered an F1 lifeline, as he’s joined Mercedes as a reserve driver for the 2023 season.
Following on from Thursday’s news that Ferrari have released Mick Schumacher from their Driver Academy, the German driver has landed a reserve driver role with the Brackley-based team.
Schumacher re-ignites a partnership between his family and Mercedes, with Michael Schumacher racing for the Mercedes F1 team when they returned to the sport in 2010 and through until his final retirement at the conclusion of the 2012 season.
According to Mercedes, Schumacher will attend all Grands Prix in 2023 in his role as reserve driver, ready to step in and replace Lewis Hamilton or George Russell should either driver be unable to take part in a race for whatever reason.
Schumacher is also set to play a role in the continuous development of the W14 throughout 2023, with regular work in the simulator in Brackley as he helps Russell and Hamilton optimise their setups for kicking off a Grand Prix weekend.
A short statement from Mercedes said: “The 23-year-old has impressed with his maturity, technical feedback and work ethic throughout his
career; all qualities highly prized in a driver.”
Schumacher will be hoping to emulate the recent success of Alex Albon who, after losing his seat with Red Bull at the conclusion of 2020, impressed sufficiently in his reserve role in ’21 to secure an F1 return for ’22. Nico Hulkenberg, who took Schumacher’s seat at Haas, also spent three years as a reserve driver with Racing Point/Aston Martin and impressed sufficiently in his sporadic appearance to be taken seriously for a full-time race seat once again.
Similarly, Daniel Ricciardo is aiming to achieve similar – the Australian driver has accepted a third driver role with former team Red Bull for 2023 rather than seeking a race seat with a lower-placed team after being bought out of his McLaren contract.