Mercedes will reportedly alter the schedule for their reserve driver Mick Schumacher for the F1 2023 European rounds to come.
The teams and drivers are now taking stock after the opening three grands prix of the campaign, the most recent outing in Australia having been followed by a break of almost a month due to the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix.
And Schumacher, who joined Mercedes in a reserve role this season after being released by Haas, already has had a “shock” just from seeing the amount of work and communication going on between the Mercedes engineers.
Hopefully what is to come is less of a shock to the system though, with Mercedes reportedly planning to change the way he supports the team as of the European leg of the campaign.
Auto Motor und Sport state that from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix onwards, Schumacher will remain at Mercedes’ Brackley base on the Friday, putting in the simulator laps to help the race team at the track with set-up work.
With the Emilia Romagna GP running from 19-21 May, this reported new schedule for example will see Schumacher in the simulator on that opening day, before catching a plane to Imola so that he can join the race team at the track on Saturday.
At that stage Schumacher is at the track in the familiar capacity, present should Mercedes or McLaren run into a driver issue and require him to step in, but otherwise he will be supporting the Mercedes team on-site in the background as has been the case for the Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Australia race weekends this season already.
There are a couple more stops though on the 2023 schedule before Formula 1 reaches Imola, the first of those being the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the Baku City Circuit.
Here the F1 sprint format will be in use for the first time this season, a potentially new version though, with reports that alterations which will see the Saturday sprint become a standalone event have been agreed and are awaiting approval.
After Baku, Formula 1 then moves on to Miami for its second visit to the Miami International Autodrome, and the first of three stops in the United States this season.
And these are rounds which Auto Motor und Sport claim Schumacher has been helping Mercedes prepare for already in the simulator.
Mercedes head to Baku P3 in the Constructors’ standings, nine points behind Aston Martin and 67 adrift of the dominant Red Bull team.