Mick Schumacher joins Mercedes as reserve driver after exit from Ferrari

2022 F1 season

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Mick Schumacher has joined Mercedes as its reserve driver for the 2023 Formula 1 season.

The team announced his appointment after Ferrari confirmed his departure after four years with the team.

The 23-year-old made his debut as a Formula 1 driver with Haas last year but was dropped after two seasons at the team. He was also Ferrari’s reserve driver at selected races this year.

In his new role at Mercedes, Schumacher will attend all F1 races and contribute to the development of the team’s W14 chassis through simulator work.

Schumacher said he is making a “new start” at the team. “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.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff described Schumacher as “a talented young driver and we’re delighted to have him join the team.

“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.”

Schumacher’s two seasons of racing in F1 will make him a suitable substitute for Lewis Hamilton or George Russell if needed, Wolff added. “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.”

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Schumacher’s appointment to the Ferrari Driver Academy in January 2019 prompted considerable interest as he followed in the footsteps of his father who won five titles with the team between 2000 and 2004. The elder Schumacher was part of Mercedes’ young driver programme in sports car racing before making his F1 debut, and returned to the manufacturer to drive for their F1 team between 2010 and 2012.

Ferrari appointed the younger Schumacher to their driver academy following his victory in the 2016 FIA Formula 3 European championship. After winning the Formula 2 title at his second attempt in 2020, Schumacher graduated to F1 with Haas.

His first season was largely wasted in a slow and underdeveloped car alongside fellow rookie Nikita Mazepin. But when Haas produced a more competitive machine this year, Schumacher did not capitalise on it as successfully has his experienced new team mate.

Kevin Magnussen out-scored Schumacher by 25 points to 12 this year. Schumacher also suffered heavy crashes at Jeddah and Monaco as well as a sizeable shunt at the end of practice in Suzuka.

Ferrari announced today they and Schumacher “mutually decided not to extend their collaboration” beyond this year.

“Scuderia Ferrari thanks Mick for these four years and the many kilometres covered together, and wishes him all the best for the future.”

Despite never driving a Ferrari in an official F1 session, Schumacher tested for them on several occasions during his four-year stint in their driver academy. He also drove some of his father’s F1 Ferraris, including the F2004 during Formula 1’s sole visit to Mugello in 2020.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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21 comments on “Mick Schumacher joins Mercedes as reserve driver after exit from Ferrari”

  1. His FDA exit was effectively an open secret since late summer & while I expected him to become Mercedes reserve, I didn’t expect a formal announcement in quick succession.

    1. Its good that hes coming back with Mercedes. Ferrari completely mismanaged his career. Haas was a terrible place for a rookie, and probably set his development back. The Ferrari demo runs in Michaels old cars werent a good idea either. The kid needs to step out of his dads prodigious shadow, not be reminded of it. They shouldve done those privately, just for Mick, rather than as marketing. Then they gave him no mentorship. He was lucky that Vettel took him under his wing otherwise he wouldve ended up a lot worse. With Wolff and Mercedes (and possibly Hamilton) Mick can develop a lot better.

      1. Interesting comments. I was wondering what Mercedes see in him. Let’s hope he improves and gets another chance.

  2. I hope there is slack in the Mercedes budget for the crash damage if Schumacher is ever allowed to drive one on the real racing cars.

    Ferrari and Haas have both given up on him so this has to be a PR exercise for German consumption.

    1. Do they pay him or does he pay THEM?

  3. Didn’t he leave it almost a year ago or is this the day the contract really ends?

    1. It was reported in July that his contract with Ferrari would not be extended.

      Still, it’s a great reason/excuse to post some photos of their early 2000s F1 cars.

  4. Good move for Mick, a great opportunity to learn alongside one of the sports great drivers and Russell also is a great barometer moving forward. Also think there is more potential for him getting another race seat opportunity through Mercedes. Staying at Haas would have been a waste of a year as he’d never progress under Steiner’s leadership.

    1. Agree, looks like he gets a better chance this way, maybe they could place him at williams for example if a spot arises.

  5. My attitude towards Mick is slowly starting to change from “I respect him as my childhood hero’s son.” to “I’m fed up with the pampering this mediocre driver is getting”.

  6. Just a branding exercise. His father was last associated with Mercedes when he left F1… so might as well give the son a reserve role and keep the Schumacher name in the family. He will never make it to a Mercedes full time role, and will just be a PR stunt for the rest of his time in F1.

    1. @todfod
      No question about the fact that Mick have literally zero chance to have a Mercedes seat even if Hamilton decides to retire at the end of this year which possibly will not be case. A PR move, yes, though Mick isn’t completely useless. Mercedes and RBR unlike Ferrari have their back covered in case they need a replacement. They both signed drivers that have competed recently with the new ground effect cars.

      Ferrari failed to convince Haas or Alfa Romeo to get one of their drivers because of the bad relationship Binotto had with their team principles especially with Steiner. Steiner signed Hulkenberg who was sponsored by Vasseur who was in my opinion clever and may have been a catalyst in forcing Binotto out of Ferrari. Ferrari are already in deep trouble if one of their drivers will be unavailable. Giovinazzi has already put it in the wall in his only run in FP this year.

      1. Ambrogio Isgro
        15th December 2022, 22:51

        If Ferrari needs a driver they can just make a phone call and get half of the field ready to jump.

    2. Maybe he becomes a di Resta or de la Rosa like test driver for Mercedes. The test/reserve driver can contribute a great deal to a team too. Simulator running these days is becoming as valuable as testing used to be.

  7. You heard it here first.
    Mick Schumacher will join Audi F1.
    Audi CEO Markus Duessman says he is the perfect driver to start our journey in F1. His one outing in Mercedes back in 2023 and all the success he has had in WEC and other categories proved he is now ready to take another challenge in the top step of motorsport with Audi. And of course as a german driver with the famous name he is the perfect partner to Audi on and off track.

    Mick: Ever since I heard Audi was coming to F1 I knew they are here to win. We believe that together we can get to the top step of the podium and I can again follow my dad’s footsteps. It has been a tough years for me but I know we all are ready to fight for podiums and wins.

    Mattia Binotto, Team principal of Audi F1: When he was at FDA we saw he has the talent to lead the team and at that point we didn’t have a place for him but now everyone here at Audi faces a new challenge and Mick is the perfect driver for the job.

    1. Just goes to show how clueless Audi’s current CEO is about driver peformance and building a team with the right drivers. Schumacher is a slightly better version of Latifi.

    2. …And last.

  8. People are far too quick to write off drivers now after a difficult season, Especially the younger rookies.

    It’s funny how back when testing was unrestricted rookies were given more time to learn than they are now when they get barely any time in an F1 car at all.

    It used to be accepted that young rookies would struggle and make mistakes in the first year or two. Yet now if there not on it from day 1 they are considered as not that good and written off as not worthy of an f1 seat.

    Felipe Massa was awful in his rookie season but he was allowed to learn and mature to the point where he nearly won the championship.

    Andrea De Cesaris crashed a lot early on yet developed into a pretty safe pair of hands.

    James Hunt was similar but was given time to mature into a champion, Similar with Jody Scheckter.

    I doubt James hunt would have been given the opportunity to fight for a championship in modern F1 as he’d be written off as hopeless before getting there and even if he did he’d be out within a year.

    It’s sad the state the sport is in now in this regard.

    1. Absolutely, he should be given 1 more year at least, and then you get those who say that those defending mick do that because he’s michael’s son, I don’t care, I’m a fan of michael and I know his son is not in the same league, but take ralf schumacher, he drove in f1 for around a decade and could be quick on his day (like mick) but erratic, he ended up in a top car for a short while and won a few races, even though he didn’t have the consistency to fight for the title when the chance came, in 2003.

    2. Disagree, Mick Schumacher has raced in about 50 Grand Prix. That’s hardly a rookie. And even in the 1990s and 2000s, only a few teams could afford to do ‘unlimited’ testing – and most had dedicated drivers like Panis, Wurz, Badoer, McNish, Verstappen, etc. for most of it. It was only really Michael Schumacher who just kept going and going and going some more.

      Hamilton, Vettel, Leclerc, Verstappen – the real cream of the crop doesn’t need to spend years learning the ropes. Maybe guys like Tsunoda and Mick Schumacher will be decent midfielders with a lot more experience, but where’s the benefit in that for these teams? There’s no shortage of drivers; either new ones to try, or old ones who deliver the same results but without the inconsistency and, in Mick Schumacher’s case, the crashes.

  9. I actually this can be a great move for Mick. He only has to prove his worth in the simulator and hope for a few FP1 sessions in a quality car. Assuming he uses those practice sessions to perform well in a front-running car he’ll definitely generate some interest.

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