Mick Schumacher to be reserve driver for McLaren too

2023 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Mercedes’ new reserve driver Mick Schumacher will also be made available to their customer team Mclaren this year as part of a long-running arrangement between the two.

Schumacher, the 2020 Formula 2 champion, raced in Formula 1 for Haas over the past two seasons and scored two times. He lost his drive at the end of 2022, as well as his place in the Ferrari Driver Academy, and was then signed by Mercedes.

Mercedes’ previous reserve drivers have been shared with their engine customers – Aston Martin, McLaren and Williams – over the past few seasons, and last year Nyck de Vries was called up to race for Williams for a race as a result of this arrangement.

“McLaren will be able to call on Mick as a reserve driver during the 2023 F1 season as part of our arrangement with Mercedes. Welcome to the family, Mick,” McLaren posted on social media. “Full circle. McLaren team principal Andrea Stella worked closely with Mick’s father, the legendary Michael Schumacher, as his performance engineer.

Schumacher’ seat fit for Mercedes’ new car, the F1 W14, took place yesterday. The team are in action at Paul Ricard today and tomorrow with an old car to conduct development work for new slick tyre compounds from Pirelli. George Russell has been driving so far.

Alpine lent their reserve driver Oscar Piastri to McLaren for the start of last season, and he ended up joining the latter as a race driver this year, after Alpine had also sought to promote him to a race seat.

2023 F1 season

Browse all 2023 F1 season articles

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

20 comments on “Mick Schumacher to be reserve driver for McLaren too”

  1. As expected & he’ll probably also become available for Williams should a need for substitution arise.
    AM already has Vandoorne & Drugovich, so only if neither attends.

  2. My 7 year old self can’t believe this. Schumacher in a Mclaren. Still in this day it doesn’t feel right.

    1. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
      1st February 2023, 19:29

      Your seven-year-old self can take some solace in the fact that the odds are very much against him ever actually driving the car in anger.

    2. Agreed, that’s blasphemy! A Schumacher in a McLaren is as awful as Damon Hill in the 1994 Benetton that we saw recently.

      Father Schumacher drove for Benetton, so by the Benetton–Renault–Alpine chain of succession, Mick should also be a reserve driver for Alpine.

    3. Yes, it’s strange, it’s a bit like the hamilton-ferrari move that some people were thinking about, it’d have been so unusual as well to see hamilton in red; then again this is not the same schumacher, so not the same thing, ralf schumacher for example drove a williams, which was fighting with ferrari for the title example in 2003 and for wins around those years.

    4. If I remember correctly, Ron Dennis did have some talks with Michael in early 1995, before Michael picked Ferrari. I think the talks were facilitated more by Mercedes, and their earlier links with Schumi.

  3. At least he didn’t crash it during the seat fitting.
    Give me a new driver every time (like de Vries in the Williams, or somebody from McLaren’s US squad), not a failure like Vandoorne, Giovanizzi or Schumacher, if there’s an illness or new strain of covid. Way better for the show.

    1. Apart from the giovinazzi mispell, I think both vandoorne and schumacher are being unfairly judged here, they could be well decent drivers, not failures, just didn’t get enough time and had unlucky circumstances: being against alonso in a terrible car and against mazepin in a terrible car can’t be easy, case 1 you get destroyed and when you have a good performance it’s hidden by the car, case 2 you destroy your team mate, but it’s well known he’s terrible, so you don’t get much reward from that, and again the horrible car hides your good performances.

      1. I’m not a fan of Giovinazzi. But I think if he was given the right car he could have easily been a Grosjean-Magnussen level driver for sure. While the less said about Vandoorne’s F1 stint the better.

  4. Coventry Climax
    1st February 2023, 19:39

    Ridiculous. Downright ridiculous.
    Mick brings nothing, zero, zilch, nada, to any team.
    He’s Latifi calibre, no more. I bet even Stroll would beat him in equal material.
    Utterly ridiculous.
    Zero doubt that some sort of Toto scheme is going on behind the scenes.
    McLaren’s PU’s on the line? Something like that.

    1. Stroll had plenty of years and is now a decent driver, he wouldn’t be in f1 now if he was treated like schumacher. Schumacher can easily be better than stroll given same experience.

      1. Coventry Climax
        2nd February 2023, 23:17

        Stroll? Decent driver?
        You gotta be kiddin’. Yourself, that is.

  5. Why not to be a reserve driver for all 10 teams?

    1. Mick should also sign as a reserve driver for Andretti, Audi and Porsche as well. Just in case.

    2. Indeed, more chance of actually getting a race or 2 in.

  6. kenny hendrick
    1st February 2023, 20:51

    Mick is the equivalent of Michael Andretti ,and Kyle Petty Second Gen Drivers do equate to much ….

  7. Uber?
    No seriously I’m conflicted on this issue.
    On one hand I think F1 is not a place to learn, deserve a chance etc. Pinnacle of motorsport only the top drivers “ready to go” should be there.
    On the other F1’s very nature almost demands an “apprenticeship period”. How long? Each is different.
    There are of course rare exceptions.
    I’m sure he will be glad to know I wish him well. It may take some years to become good/great drivers. But that would need a radical change from now now expectations, and a place to develop.
    Perhaps a. “last year’s F1 cars championship”

  8. There should be rules against this. It gives F1 an amateurish flavour.

    1. There should be rules against this. It gives F1 an amateurish flavour.

      Rather than “amateurish” – I’d use the word “collusive.”
      But it’s probably OK, because it involves Mercedes….

    2. Maybe the particular type of F1 team principal that likes Mercedes engines also happens – by sheer coincidence – to like the same kind of driver. Whatever the reason, it’s definitely not that the engine manufacturers have way too much power in F1 and over their subordinates – or clients, if you prefer.

Comments are closed.