Schumacher back in F1 action with Mercedes

Mick Schumacher is back driving an F1 car, with Mercedes conducting tyre testing for Pirelli

Mick Schumacher is back driving an F1 car, with Mercedes conducting tyre testing for Pirelli

Mick Schumacher has returned to the cockpit of an F1 car for the first time in seven months.

After being dropped by Haas at the end of last year after two seasons in F1, Schumacher was signed by Mercedes as its reserve driver.

As part of his duties, Schumacher, who last drove in F1 in last November’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, has been called upon to help Pirelli evaluate prototype tyres for next season that are due to be used without blankets.

That saw Schumacher roll out of the Mercedes garage at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday as the Brackley-based team and Ferrari have remained behind following the weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Up until now, the 24-year-old has played an integral role in helping Mercedes’ bid to return to the front of the grid.

Schumacher was notably praised by both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell for his near round-the-clock work in helping the team understand the upgrade package on the car following Friday practice ahead of the race in Spain.

“Friday was a real struggle with the balance, it was way out of the window,” said Hamilton. “The car was very hard to drive, very unpredictable. 

“But then we did some great work overnight. We’ve got a great team, with Mick back in the simulator, and he did some great work, which helped us get on the right track on Saturday.”

Russell added: “The work that Mick and the simulator team did overnight, they were there well past midnight to help us with the set-up and get it (the car) in a good window for the race.”

As part of the test, Russell drove the W14 on Tuesday, completing 151 laps.

Ferrari is also taking part, with Carlos Sainz in the car on Wednesday after Charles Leclerc clocked up 167 laps on Tuesday.

There will be a further test at Silverstone after the British Grand Prix in July, with Red Bull on track, following which a decision will then be made as to whether F1 and Pirelli will go ahead next season with the tyre blanket ban or place it on hold.

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