Mick Schumacher Joins Mercedes as F1 Reserve Driver
Mick Schumacher (left) signs his new contract alongside Team Principal Toto Wolff (right)Photo: Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team
Mercedes has announced that Mick Schumacher will be joining its F1 team for the 2023 season as its reserve driver. Haas F1 Team let go of the son of the seven-time F1 champion at the end of this season. Schumacher had tumultuous two seasons with the American team, with the working relationship between the team and driver completely collapsing during the second half of 2022.
At Mercedes, Mick Schumacher will be on call to replace Lewis Hamilton or George Russell should either driver be unable to compete during an F1 race weekend. Despite the title of the 23-year-old driver’s role at the team, he will primarily focus on helping Mercedes develop its 2023 F1 car, the W14, through time spent in the factory simulator. Mercedes needs all the help it can get after a lackluster 2022 season where the 2021 World Constructors’ Champions only won a single race. Schumacher said in a statement, “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.”
Schumacher entered F1 with Haas in 2021 as the reigning Formula 2 champion. He had developed a reputation in the junior categories for vastly improving in his second season in any given series. He had won both the 2020 F2 and 2018 European F3 championships in his second season after finishing outside the top ten in both rookie years. However, Schumacher didn’t have an experienced teammate to learn from in his rookie season in F1. He was paired alongside fellow rookie Nikita Mazepin, the team finished last in the championship, and both drivers failed to score points.
Mick Schumacher during his final race weekend with Haas in Abu DhabiPhoto: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto (Getty Images)
In his second season, Schumacher improved. Mazepin was fired before the 2022 season due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Haas hired veteran Kevin Magnussen as Mazepin’s replacement, improving Haas’ and Schumacher’s performance. Schumacher scored his maiden points with an eighth-place finish at the British Grand Prix and improved on that result with a sixth-place finish at the Austrian Grand Prix the week after.
However, Haas felt that Schumacher hadn’t improved enough and replaced him with the extremely experienced Nico Hulkenberg for the 2023 season. The studious Schumacher might find his way back to a race seat in the future after his stint as Mercedes’ reserve driver.