Mercedes share behind-the-scenes images as Mick Schumacher completes seat fit
Mick Schumacher has completed his first seat fitting as a Mercedes driver, the latest step in the Brackley squad’s pre-season preparations.
After being dropped by Haas at the end of last season, Schumacher informed of his axing on the eve of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the German signed with Mercedes as their official reserve driver.
Following in the footsteps of his father, seven-time F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher, who was part of the Mercedes family from 2010 to 2012, Schumacher will be part of the Mercedes line-up this season as their third driver.
The German will attend all 23 races, ready to step in should either Lewis Hamilton or George Russell be unable to race.
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He’ll also spend time in the team’s simulator, helping to develop the car.
It’s not what Schumacher had hoped to be doing this season, the 23-year-old wanting another season with Haas, but it’s an opportunity he’ll use to potentially secure a 2024 comeback.
“I was surprised,” he said of his Haas axing. “It didn’t feel like the last race of the season and it didn’t feel like my last race.
“My mind is pretty much settled on coming back in 2024 if not earlier in ’23.
“I feel I’ve shown my pace and I know a lot of people are happy with how I’ve developed.”
.@SchumacherMick's first Merc seat fit. ✅ pic.twitter.com/8Ze8nApFrr
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) January 31, 2023
As Mercedes’ reserve driver, Schumacher could have outings with customer teams Williams and McLaren as well, much like Nyck de Vries had last season.
That opened the door for the Dutchman to make a one-off appearance for Williams at the Italian GP, his P9 finish securing him a race seat with AlphaTauri.
Wolff says as Mercedes didn’t stand in De Vries’ way, they won’t block Schumacher either if a rival comes calling.
“I believe that if we can provide him with a safe environment to develop further, he can be a good driver in a full-time seat in the future,” the Mercedes motorsport boss told Dutch publication Formule 1 when asked about Schumacher.
“We had to let Nyck go in the same way for him to have a career, now that could also happen with Mick. Whether it’s with our team or whether we have to let him go, we don’t know yet.”
Mercedes have announced they will officially launch their W14 on February 15, eight days before pre-season testing begins in Bahrain.