Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is adamant that reserve driver Mick Schumacher “deserves” a seat in Formula 1, with him having done an excellent job for the Silver Arrows.
Schumacher joined Mercedes as their third driver following his departure from Haas, after the American outfit decided not to offer the German a new contract.
Haas went for the experience of Nico Hulkenberg over Schumacher’s youth, with the son of Michael Schumacher having cost the side a lot of money in 2022.
Schumacher had two very big crashes last season, which cost Haas millions of dollars in repairs.
He was therefore left with no choice but to accept a reserve role, if he wanted to stay in the paddock.
Going to Mercedes actually saw him follow in his father’s footsteps, as Michael raced for the Silver Arrows from 2010-2012.
Whilst most of the 24-year-old’s work has been behind-the-scenes in the simulator, he’s clearly become a valuable member of the team.
Wolff is a massive admirer of Schumacher and believes his Haas struggles were caused by “not feeling confident”, something he appears to have rebuilt at Mercedes.
Schumacher has completed several late nights in the simulator to help George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, who have also praised the German as recently as the British Grand Prix.
There is no doubting that the ex-F3 and F2 World Champion is very fast, making Wolff certain that he’ll do an excellent job should Russell or Hamilton be unable to race.
Wolff ultimately believes Schumacher is too good for a reserve role and should be on the grid.
“I think he deserves to be on the grid,” said Wolff.
“The moment you’re not feeling confident in a car over a prolonged period, the more pressure you put on yourself, the less good you perform, and I think this happened at Haas.
“He is quick – if you win F3 and F2, there is high potential in you, and he was never able to show it [in F1].
“I’m glad we have a third driver that I know will do the job if one of ours eats a bad fish!
“But his contribution in the simulator is tremendous, and that makes us sometimes do these big jumps from Friday to Saturday, because he’s driving his socks off overnight.”