Win as a Mercedes test driver: How regression can benefit Schumacher

Win as a Mercedes test driver
How Schumacher can benefit from regression

Von Mats-Yannick Roth

Mick Schumacher will not drive in Formula 1 in 2023. The 23-year-old footballer does not yet know what he will do next year. His heart is burning for motorsport and he wants to get back in the cockpit as soon as possible. Mercedes seems to offer him the best option.

Just before the last 2022 at the start of the season’s race weekend in Abu Dhabi, it became official: after two years together, team boss Günther Steiner’s Haas Racing team decided not to continue with regular driver Mick Schumacher. Without the son of record world champion Michael Schumacher, Team USA wants to take the next step forward in its development. Instead of 23, the eighth in the constructors’ standings relies on the return of Nico Hülkenberg as co-driver alongside Kevin Magnussen.

On the other hand, the factory Mercedes team did not tire of emphasizing after the undoubted Mick-Aus at Haas that Schumacher is now the exciting personality of the team. “We think that if the situation arises, we can take care of him with someone who just fits the team,” team manager Toto Wolff opened all doors for Schumacher.

Record world champion and regular driver Lewis Hamilton also seems quite enamored with the idea of ​​having Michael Schumacher’s son in his team in the future: “Mick is a great talent. It would be perfect for Mercedes. He is a German driver. and Mercedes were closely linked,” Hamilton told Sport Bild.

Mercedes is still looking for a test and replacement driver for next year. As is known, Nyck de Vries was able to get a cabin in Alpha Tauri. Father Michael’s former team now almost looks like an ideal solution for Mick Schumacher. Schumacher himself, who until the end of this year was still on the driver list of Ferrari’s driver academy, did not hide his great sympathy for the Silver Arrows. “Mercedes is a great brand, their achievements in Formula 1 are incredible. I look at my options and Mercedes is one of them,” he said in Abu Dhabi.

Test drivers help build the car

So would a return to the second row of Formula 1’s top team actually be Schumacher’s best option? Along with the medium-term goal of securing a permanent place in the top class of motorsport. Looking at Mick Schumacher’s other alternatives in international motorsport, the only conclusion remains: yes, without a doubt!

In theory, it would be possible to replace Formula E or DTM. Specifically in the electric race series, the McLaren team still has the last available seat with former DTM champion René Rast. However, starting completely from scratch in a previously unknown racing series is in no way advisable at a young age, because the real goal remains Formula 1.

Anyway, the work of the third pilot in the team should not be underestimated. The team’s test driver is by no means just a stand-in who is allowed to pop into the Friday race weekend sessions once or twice a year to give the regular drivers a break. The test driver is especially responsible in the run-up to the first race weekend, when many hours are spent on simulation and test drives. His experience reporting in the simulator and in the cockpit is key, as is his technical understanding and handling of new vehicle parts.

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As a test driver, Mick Schumacher would initially work more intensively on the vehicle between seasons than regular drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell during the development of the new Mercedes car. The former Formula 2 champion is likely looking forward to new experience, which should be useful in planning his career, especially in the long term.

Take Albon as an example

The biggest plus for Schumacher changing to the Silver Arrows would be not even allowing him to continue and regularly sit in a Formula 1 car. First of all, working directly with the most successful team in decades would prove to be…

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