Toto Wolff wants Mick Schumacher to land ‘permanent seat’

Mick Schumacher was axed by Haas after the 2022 season, with the German having been replaced by Nico Hulkenberg.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes the Silver Arrows can get Mick Schumacher into a position where he can once again have a “permanent seat” in Formula 1, with the German driver targeting a 2024 return to full-time racing.

Having been dropped by Haas following the end of the 2022 season, Schumacher has arguably found himself in the best backup job in Formula 1, as Mercedes’ reserve driver.

The Brackley-based team were in need of a new reserve driver after allowing Stoffel Vandoorne to switch to Aston Martin in a reserve role and Nyck de Vries to AlphaTauri.

De Vries, of course, isn’t going to be AlphaTauri’s reserve driver and is instead set to make his full debut alongside Yuki Tsunoda at the Faenza-based team, after being signed to replace Pierre Gasly.

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With that in mind, Mercedes and Schumacher can help each other, with the Germans receiving a reserve driver who has experience of racing the new Formula 1 cars, whilst Schumacher can enjoy a whole year learning from the likes of Lewis Hamilton.

Schumacher might even be hoping to now be a contender for Hamilton’s seat in 2026, given that the 38-year-old is set to sign a new deal for 2024 and 2025.

Another feature that’ll go in Schumacher’s favour is the power that Wolff possesses in the paddock, with the Austrian arguably being the best team principal to have to get a move to another team.

2023 should be an exciting year for Schumacher despite being only a reserve driver, with Wolff having high hopes in his capabilities.

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“I believe if we can give him a safe environment to to further develop, he can be a good racing driver in a permanent seat in the future,” Wolff said.

“In the same way we have let Nyck de Vries go in order for him to achieve a career, that could be something that could happen to Mick – whether it is in our team or letting him go somewhere else, we don’t know at this stage.

“Where he will massively contribute is that he’s driven the new car for a year and has been in Formula 1 for two years… he will be super helpful in the simulator and in assessing the car overall. It will be good to have him on track and in the debriefing room.”