It was announced on Wednesday that Mercedes reserve driver Mick Schumacher will have an additional role in 2023, with the German driver having also been announced as one of McLaren’s reserve drivers for the forthcoming season.
2023 is looking set to be a busy year for the German, who was perhaps expecting a quiet campaign following his axing from Haas.
McLaren announced that Schumacher will join their reserve drivers pool as a result of the Woking-based team’s arrangement with Mercedes, whom they get their power units from.
The British side posted an image of Schumacher at their base to confirm the news, with the photo having shown the 23-year-old completing his seat fitting.
It’s not unusual for a Mercedes reserve driver to also be used by McLaren, with Nyck de Vries having almost replaced Lando Norris at last season’s Brazilian Grand Prix, following a horrific bout of food poisoning.
“Lando is feeling unwell with suspected food poisoning, so he will rest in the hotel today. We expect him back at track tomorrow,” the team posted at the time.
It was looking for all the world that Norris was going to be ruled out, with De Vries having been seen in the British driver’s car completing a seat check.
Thankfully for the team, Norris was able to participate but admitted after qualifying to Sky Sports F1 that he “felt a bit sick”.
Norris went on to endure a challenging weekend, after colliding with Charles Leclerc in the opening stages of the race before eventually retiring in its latter stages.
The 23-year-old looked visibly unwell throughout the weekend and did well to persevere through it, something he might be advised not to do this season should he become unwell again ahead of a race weekend.
Following McLaren’s announcement regarding Schumacher, both Mercedes and McLaren are in the unique position of having a reserve driver who actually has experience of racing the new era of Formula 1 cars, a feat only they can boast.
Red Bull, too, can technically boast the same feat given that they’ve got Daniel Ricciardo for 2023; however, unlike Schumacher, he won’t be at all the races.
With that in mind, Schumacher will be on hand to replace Norris, Oscar Piastri, Lewis Hamilton, or George Russell, should any of them be unable to race for some reason.