Mick Schumacher broke by way of the ice at the Race of Champions in Sweden over the weekend to complete second. After a press convention with winner Matthias Ekström, Schumi Jr. was immediately rushed and needed to go straight to the airport to catch his flight. Destination: The Mercedes manufacturing unit in Brackley, UK, the place Schumacher was preparing for the brand new F1 season earlier this week. The 23-yr-outdated signed up for the Silver Arrows as a check and reserve driver after Haas left the race group.
Surprisingly, this message comes: the seat within the Mercedes is not the one one for Schumacher this week, but in addition the cabin has been tailored for the German within the McLaren! Background: As Mercedes’ engine buyer, McLaren has entry to its personal reserve driver pool – there was a comparable association final season the place McLaren may select Mercedes’ Formula E duo Stoffel Vandoorne and Nick de Vries if the worst got here to cross. the worst.
For the youthful Schumacher, who reunites together with his father’s outdated acquaintance and former efficiency engineer at Ferrari alongside new McLaren group boss Andrea Stella, the connection between the groups is constantly optimistic. Because theoretically he has 4 potential probabilities in Formula 1: if Lewis Hamilton or George Russell fail at Mercedes, or if Lando Norris or Oscar Piastri fail at McLaren, he may have an opportunity.
The risk of a brief-time period task of the highest group is not so small, because the current previous exhibits that Formula 1 positively wants firefighters: to begin with Nico Hulkenberg, who at Aston Martin (then nonetheless Racing Point) just for Sergio Perez and with Covid, and later Sebastian Lance Stroll, who was additionally sick for Vettel, put himself within the standard cockpit – changing his compatriot Schumacher in Haas in 2023.
The instance of Nick de Vries will even encourage Mick: the Dutchman, additionally as Mercedes reserve driver, briefly moved as much as the cockpit of the Williams buyer group at Monza 2022 as a result of Alex Albon left with appendicitis. De Vries scored so many factors on debut that AlfaTauri signed the previous Formula E champion as an everyday driver for this yr.
Alone: Schumacher’s door appears closed for now on a protracted-time period future as an everyday driver at Mercedes or McLaren. George Russell (24) is seen as the following celebrity for the Silver Arrows and group-mate Lewis Hamilton (38) has no plans to go away simply but, regardless of his age. Mercedes group principal Toto Wolff just lately confirmed that the document-breaking world champion is in talks for an additional two years on a contract that can maintain him with the group till at least 2025.
McLaren, alternatively, with Lando Norris (23) and Oscar Piastri (21), have two very younger and correspondingly sizzling shares within the driver market. Why: There has been hypothesis just lately about Ferrari’s curiosity in Norris, however the Briton is unlikely to go away any time quickly as two present Scuderia drivers, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, nonetheless have contracts till 2024.
In the long run, Audi stays Schumacher’s finest different: the Ingolstadt-based firm will enter the primary class in 2026 and just lately acquired its first minority stake as a part of a deliberate acquisition of the Sauber group (now Alfa Romeo). This share must be expanded to 75 p.c when the corporate goes public. In addition, these in control of Audi need a German driver for his or her F1 venture: Schumacher, at least, doesn’t count on any competitors within the coming years.