Lewis Hamilton casts doubt on Toto Wolff’s Mick Schumacher wish

Mercedes had a reserve driver spot to fill following the departure of Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne.

Toto Wolff’s wish to “look after” Mick Schumacher has come true, with the German driver having been signed as the team’s new reserve driver for next season.

However, Lewis Hamilton has doubts over how “closely” he’ll be working with the son of Michael Schumacher.

Schumacher was, of course, dropped by Haas at the end of the most recent season, following a year full of in-house criticism despite having shown considerable improvement throughout the season.

Somewhat annoyingly for the 23-year-old, he wasn’t told that he was going to be replaced for 2023 by Nico Hulkenberg until virtually the end of the season, by at which point there were no seats available.

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It has resulted in a year on the bench for the young German; however, he is arguably going to be spending it in an excellent way.

Schumacher will undoubtedly be looked after at Mercedes, with the former Ferrari Driver Academy member set to help develop and test the team’s 2023 challenger.

He will also work with Hamilton and George Russell, although, the seven-time World Champion doubts how much time he will actually spend with the driver.

“Mick is a great talent. He is an asset for Mercedes,” Hamilton told Sport Bild.

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“He is a German driver and his father and Mercedes were already closely connected.

“You don’t actually work that closely with the third driver anymore. It’s a lot of simulator work and not like it used to be, even though we’ll still be team-mates.”

It is rare for a reserve driver to be someone who’s moved straight from a full-time seat; however, it is becoming more common.

With Schumacher also having experience of the new aerodynamic regulations, he is hopeful that he can “contribute the knowledge” he has to the Brackley-based side.

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“I guess it is not as common to have a reserve driver that has been driving in the new era of cars,” Schumacher said.

“I know the new tyres, I know what the car is about and what it needs in terms of driving style. Hopefully I will be able to contribute to that but also see what the drivers need from the outside and obviously the simulator work is going to be very important.

“We have a lot to do and hopefully I will be able to contribute the knowledge I have, but also gain a lot of knowledge myself that I can use for the rest of my career and life.”