Mercedes warned Lewis Hamilton ‘is not that young anymore’ as Mick Schumacher lurks

Mick Schumacher will fill the role of Mercedes reserve driver in 2023, following his Haas departure.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher has hailed his nephew’s move to Mercedes as a “great opportunity”, especially as a racing seat at the Germans could open up in the near future.

Mick Schumacher’s move to Mercedes comes after Haas opted not to renew the 23-year-old’s contract, with the Americans preferring the experienced Nico Hulkenberg over the son of Michael Schumacher.

With Haas having announced their decision so late in the year, Schumacher was forced to look for a reserve role, when Toto Wolff came calling.

Mercedes’ team principal expressed his intent on signing the young German as the team’s reserve for 2023, with the Brackley-based outfit having lost Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries.

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Whilst a year on the bench isn’t ideal, Mercedes is arguably the best place to do it, given who he’ll be working with.

With that in mind, the German’s uncle has labelled the situation as a “win-win” for the team and Schumacher.

“It’s a great opportunity for Mick. He can watch a top team and learn a lot,” Mick’s uncle told Sport1.

“It’s not just a role as a test driver, where he can help Mercedes back to the top from the simulator. Also a spare role, where he can replace someone. We’ve had this enough in the last three years.

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“Although Lewis is still an absolute top driver, but he’s not that young anymore. You never know. In any case, I think it’s a win-win situation for the team and for Mick.”

As good as the reserve seat at Mercedes is, Ralf can’t hide the fact that he would’ve preferred Mick to have another year in a full-time seat “for further development”.

Schumacher’s relationship with Haas simply couldn’t go on any longer, though, with the Americans not giving the German the “necessary support”.

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“Another season with a permanent cockpit would have been better, of course, because driving is still the best thing for further development,” the ex-F1 driver added.

“On the other hand, with Haas he lacked the necessary support, it would have been very difficult for him.

“If a team boss doesn’t believe in a driver, you should split up. From a purely sporting point of view, Mick’s curve was clearly pointing upwards. Therefore, one does not necessarily have to understand Haas’ decision. Anyway: under these circumstances it was the optimal solution for Mick.”