Schumacher joins Mercedes as Reserve Driver
By Mat Coch
Friday 16th December, 2022 - 8:25am
Mick Schumacher has been announced as Reserve Driver for the Mercedes Formula 1 team.
Confirmation came shortly after Ferrari announced it had ended its relationship with the German by mutual consent.
“I am thrilled to be part of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team as their Reserve Driver for 2023, and I am committed to give it my all to contribute to their performance in this very competitive and professional environment,” Schumacher said.
“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. F1 is such a fascinating world, and you never stop learning, so I look forward to absorbing more knowledge and putting in all my efforts for the benefit of the Mercedes team.”
Guenther Steiner said at the time that his team needed a driver with greater experience.
Schumacher enjoyed support from Ferrari through the latter part of his junior career, extending into Formula 1 where he remained part of its Academy programme.
That has now concluded, with Ferrari confirming they have “mutually decided not to extend their collaboration, after working together for four years.”
It was expected that Schumacher would exit the Ferrari Driver Academy given it is designed to aid with the progression to F1.
Charles Leclerc was a member of the programme up to the point he reached the sport’s zenith with Alfa Romeo Sauber in 2018.
Schumacher’s arrival at Mercedes was also expected as the Anglo-German marque had something of a clearing of house in the latter part of 2022 as far as drivers go.
Nyck de Vries had completed Reserve Driver duties but has since signed on to Scuderia AlphaTauri as race driver for 2023.
Formula E world champion and ex-McLaren racer Stoffel Vandoorne also exited the team in favour of a Reserve Driver role at Aston Martin.
Ironically, that move precipitated Nico Hulkenberg’s signing at Haas, which spelled the end of Schumacher’s time on the grid – at least for now.
“Mick is a talented young driver and we’re delighted to have him join the team,” said Toto Wolff, Team Principal at Mercedes.
“He is a hard worker, has a calm and methodical approach and is still hungry to learn and improve as a driver.
“These are all important qualities, and we’re excited for him to help us develop the W14.
“We also know that with two years of experience racing in Formula 1 under his belt, he will be ready to step into the car at short notice to replace either Lewis or George, should that need arise.”
As part of his new role, Schumacher will be trackside for all events in 2023 as well as completing simulator work for the operation.