Mercedes reserve driver Mick Schumacher is reportedly set to drive the W14 for the first-time next Wednesday following this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, as part of a Pirelli tyre test.
It was reported by German publication Bild that the 24-year-old is part of the Silver Arrows’ plans for their upcoming tyre test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with Schumacher set to share the responsibilities with George Russell.
Russell is expected to test on the Tuesday with Schumacher to takeover on the Wednesday, for his first drive in a Formula 1 car since he was axed by Haas at the conclusion of the 2022 season.
Since joining Mercedes as their official reserve driver, Schumacher has so far only driven the W14 in the simulator, with his appearance next week perhaps set to be an indicator whether he has the pace to return to the grid in 2024.
The son of Michael Schumacher was replaced by Nico Hulkenberg at Haas following the expiration of his contract, with the Americans having opted for experience over youth based on the number of errors the young German driver made last year.
Schumacher made some costly errors during his second season in F1, with his monster crashes in Saudi Arabia and Monaco having cost the midfield team millions of dollars.
There is no doubt that he is a talented driver though, given that he claimed the 2020 Formula 2 World Championship.
Mercedes clearly see something in Schumacher, with team principal Toto Wolff having worked hard to sign the driver to replace Nyck de Vries.
Schumacher was linked to AlphaTauri and Williams last season; however, he was ultimately left without a seat on the grid.
Spending a season with Mercedes is certainly not a bad outcome from his Haas woes though, with him working closely with Wolff, Russell and seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton.
The likelihood is also that Mercedes will work with the German to try and find him a seat on the grid for next season, something which could prove challenging.
With the majority of contracts on the grid not expiring until the end of next season, there aren’t many seats available for Schumacher next year.
As it stands, only AlphaTauri, Haas, Alfa Romeo, and Williams have a seat available for 2024, unless they offer a new contract to their current drivers.
With him having been ruled out of the AlphaTauri seat last season and forced out of Haas, Alfa Romeo could be an option, especially as they’ll be known purely as Sauber next year in preparation for their deal with Audi.
Williams is also a strong option as well, given that the Grove-based team are a Mercedes customer outfit, with team principal James Vowles having also spent many years working for the Silver Arrows and alongside Wolff.