Bird and Paffett next in line at Mercedes

Michael Schumacher lifts Sam Bird around the Montreal track

Michael Schumacher lifts Sam Bird around the Montreal track

Jun.23 (GMM) Mercedes GP would promote “one of our test drivers” to the race cockpit should regulars Michael Schumacher or Nico Rosberg be unable to drive during the course of 2011.

Asked by Auto Motor und Sport this week who is first in line for the Mercedes seats, motor racing vice president Norbert Haug answered: “One of our test drivers.”

It appears he is referring to GP2 Series driver Sam Bird, and the long time  McLaren linked Gary Paffett, who has just signed a multi-year contract to keep racing with Mercedes in DTM.

Sergio Perez’s recovery from his Monaco qualifying crash raised an interesting question, after Sauber’s official reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez was overlooked for the Montreal seat.

Instead, McLaren’s vastly experienced veteran Pedro de la Rosa got the nod, while at Mercedes GP for instance it is not believed an official reserve has been nominated at all.