Schumacher: ‘Humbling’ to hear of Mercedes interest in 2023 F1 reserve role

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Schumacher found out this week he would not be racing in F1 next year after Haas opted not to renew his contract, instead signing free agent Nico Hulkenberg with partner Kevin Magnussen.

With all the remaining seats on the F1 grid now occupied, Schumacher must evaluate other options for 2023, such as a possible reserve role.

Wolff previously said he would only talk to Schumacher about a position if he lost his seat at Haas, believing he deserved to keep his place on the grid.

“Mercedes is a great brand and what they have achieved in Formula 1 is incredible,” Schumacher said after qualifying in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

“I’m definitely looking at my options and Mercedes is part of that.”

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Earlier in the day, Wolff reiterated his interest in signing Schumacher, citing strong ties between the Schumacher family and Mercedes. Mick’s father, Michael, returned to F1 with Mercedes in 2010 after a three-year absence and also began racing sports cars for the German manufacturer.

“Mick is someone who is always close to our hearts because of Michael or the whole Schumacher family,” said Wolff.

“Ralf was in a DTM for us for a long time, his son races Mercedes in GTs, and [Mick is] an intelligent, well-mannered young man. He has been very successful in junior formulas.

“We believe we can look after him if the situation arises and with someone who just fits into the team, but we haven’t really put pen to paper. We haven’t really come close to terms yet.

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“I see it so openly because I think he just fits and now we have to make it happen, if he wants to, Sabine. [Kehm, Schumacher’s manager] wants and then we see we see where that goes.

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG

Photo by: Michael Potts/Motorsport Images

Asked about the family’s interests at Mercedes in light of Wolff’s comments, Schumacher said: “My father made the move from Ferrari to Mercedes at the time. I don’t see a good reason why not [the same] straight away.

“Again, as I said earlier this week, I have time now, so I will consider all the options I have to hopefully make the right decision for me.

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“But it is certainly very humbling to hear what Mercedes and especially Toto say about me.”

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Mercedes will need a new reserve driver for 2023 as the current back-ups, Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne, will both leave at the end of the season. De Vries joins AlphaTauri to race full-time in F1 next year, while Vandoorne becomes Aston Martin’s reserve driver.

Mercedes also missed out on signing outgoing McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo in a reserve role following previous talks that would see the Australian become a third driver at Red Bull.

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