Mick Schumacher believes his experience of racing the 2022 Formula 1 cars will provide added value to Mercedes in his role as reserve driver that he hopes will help the team fight for titles again.
Mercedes’ run of dominance came to an end this year as it finished third in the constructors’ championship with just one victory at the penultimate round of the season in Brazil. The team struggled with the new aerodynamic regulations and a difficult car, but having had his own knowledge of the new generation of cars racing for Haas this year, Schumacher feels he has experience that will help Mercedes next season.
“I’m very excited,” Schumacher said. “I saw the development that the W13 has gone through this year and the steps it has taken over the course of the year from a difficult start to a race-winning car. So definitely excited about next year to see what is possible, and hopefully I’ll be able to contribute a good amount to it and hopefully we’ll be able to fight for the world championships at the end of the year.
“I guess it’s not as common to have a reserve driver that has been driving the new era of cars. I know the new tires, I know what the car is about, what it needs also in terms of driving style, so hopefully I’ll be able to contribute to that but also see maybe what the drivers need from the outside, and obviously the simulator work is going to be very important.
“So we have a lot to do and hopefully I’ll be able to continue the knowledge that I have but also gain a lot of knowledge for myself that hopefully I’ll be able to use for the rest of my career and my life.”
And the 23-year-old admits it’s special to be working for Mercedes in the next phase of his career as he follows in his father Michael’s footsteps after the seven-time world champion came out of retirement to race for the team when it returned to F1 in 2010.
“I’ve always felt very close to Mercedes, not only because of the history with my family but also because of F3 and the time that I got to spend here when I was younger, and just the relationship that I have with Toto (Wolff) as well. So I feel very happy to be a part of it, even though it’s not as a main driver, it’s as a reserve driver, but I’m sure it’s going to be just as important to contribute to it and give it my all so that’s what I’m planning on doing.
“It means a lot. My dad has been part of this team from 2010 until 2012 and obviously it was a lot of the foundations of what it is today. So I’m very proud to be a part of it now and hopefully I’ll be able help them to go forwards and progress and contribute my knowledge to it.
“The changes that are obvious s ince 2014 – which was the last time I came here which was like a sneaky visit and doing my first simulator session at the time – to see the growth in the team is immense. It shows why the team is at the standard that it’s at right now, so I’m very happy to be part of it, very excited to see more of it and get to know everybody.”