Mick Schumacher planning to take Alex Albon approach to Mercedes reserve role

Thomas Maher
Mick Schumacher Mercedes seat fitting. Photo courtesy of Mercedes

Mick Schumacher Mercedes seat fitting. Photo courtesy of Mercedes

Mercedes’ Mick Schumacher says he plans on following Alex Albon’s example from his year on the sidelines as a reserve driver.

Schumacher is facing a year on the sidelines from Formula 1, having lost his seat with Haas after two seasons as the American squad have opted for the experienced Nico Hulkenberg.

With no race seats available, Schumacher found refuge with Mercedes as the Brackley-based team recruited him as their reserve driver for 2023 – a continuation of the Mercedes/Schumacher partnership following on from father Michael’s return to F1 with the same team back in 2010.

Schumacher thus has the opportunity to potentially take part in a Grand Prix weekend with Mercedes should either Lewis Hamilton or George Russell be unable to, while a further deal between Mercedes and McLaren means the young German could also step into the MCL60 should either Lando Norris or Oscar Piastri be sidelined for a race.

But Schumacher is not letting potential races distract him from his task of impressing Mercedes and working diligently alongside his new teammates to help their title bid in 2023.

Mick Schumacher hoping to ‘add to his toolbox’

Schumacher pointed to the example of Alex Albon, now with Williams, who spent 2021 as Red Bull’s reserve driver after losing his race seat with the team. Albon was singled out for regular praise by Red Bull’s management, due to his productive work in the simulator to help Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez fettle in their race setups for Grand Prix weekends.

Albon’s efforts and unwavering loyalty resulted in Red Bull helping to find him a seat elsewhere on the grid, resulting in the Williams seat he now occupies.

“I’ll take the same similar approach that Alex did,” Schumacher told media, including PlanetF1.com, at the launch of Mercedes’ W14 this week.

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“But, more than that, it’s also an opportunity for me to have, instead of one teammate, two teammates to look at and see what they’re doing.

“Maybe I don’t have a direct comparison because I’m not driving, but I know how I would approach it and in that way, I can see what they’re doing and how they approach it.

“Say, if they have an oversteering car, what do they do with the tools? What do they do in terms of driving styles and basically learn from that and hopefully add to my toolbox, seeing some more tools to be able to help me when I come back.”

Mick Schumacher intending on racing in other categories

While Schumacher has already shot down any interest in joining the World Endurance Championship, a top-level championship with just seven races on the calendar, the German driver says he does intend on taking part in other racing categories this year in a bid to stay race-sharp.

Schumacher confirmed to media that he has already driven an older Dallara F3 car, and said: “I’m planning on doing a lot of driving, or as much driving as I can this year, in different categories and in different cars.

“This year, I’ve decided that I want to be as fit as I’ve ever been, which I feel I’ve achieved so far, and I’m still planning on getting even fitter until the beginning of the season.

“Driving-wise, I’m still in the loop very much, and I’m planning on staying there.”