Haas’ loss appears to potentially be Mercedes’ gain following recent reports, with the Germans supposedly in talks about signing Mick Schumacher as a reserve driver next season, filling one of the spaces left by Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne.
It has been reported by Bild that Schumacher will be dropped by Haas for 2023, with an announcement set to be made by the Americans as soon as Wednesday, where Nico Hulkenberg will be declared as Kevin Magnussen’s team-mate for next season.
The young German has arguably been messed around by the American side, who appear to have made their 2023 decision considerably later than expected.
It also appears that Schumacher rejected a seat at Williams after being given hope that he will remain with the side for next season, something which is all but set not to happen.
So where will Schumacher end up then next season? Well, based on some rumours, Mercedes.
The Germans are in need of at least one new reserve driver, following the loss of De Vries and Vandoorne.
Outgoing McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo has also been tipped for a Mercedes reserve role, though, meaning that perhaps Schumacher could face some competition unless both are signed.
One thing in Schumacher’s favour, however, is that his father Michael Schumacher raced for the team from 2010-2012, with Toto Wolff admitting the “Schumacher family belongs to Mercedes”.
“I make no secret of the fact that the Schumacher family belongs to Mercedes and that we appreciate Mick very much,” said Wolff.
If Schumacher wants to remain in the paddock then Mercedes could be his only bet, especially as Wolff might prioritise signing him over Ricciardo.
Wolff has previously explained that the Aussie is speaking to several teams, with Mercedes having not “decided” yet who will fill the reserve role.
“Daniel is speaking to a few teams about a potential role, also with Red Bull,” revealed the Austrian.
“For us, we very much like him, he’s a great character, but we are not in a position to decide who’s going to be the third driver.
“[He would bring] personality and he’s been around for a long time, he knows these cars inside out and that can be really advantageous. But I don’t want to put any rumours out there because we haven’t decided.”
Interestingly, the role for Ricciardo is considered as a step backwards, given that he is an experienced driver who’s won eight F1 races.
For Schumacher, though, the move is seen as a step “sideways”, given that he will learn an unbelievable amount which could support him in a return to the sport.
“Ricciardo has already settled for a reserve driver role,” German reporter Michael Schmidt told Auto Motor und Sport.
“Schumacher will have to consider this possibility in the event of a negative decision from his team. It’s also no secret talks have already taken place in both cases.
“For Schumacher, a reserve driver contract with a team that’s third in the championship would not be a step backwards but sideways. He may learn more there than with a small team in racing.”