Schumacher did not impress at Haas. That is a fact, but this site has always maintained that Ferrari messed up by deciding to put the young German at the American team, hardly the environment to develop and nurture a young F1 driver.
The smarter decision would have been placing Schumacher at Alfa Romeo under the mentorship of Frederic Vasseur, now the Ferrari boss himself and known for his experience in developing young drivers, but you can add the manner in which the son of Michael Schumacher was managed to the list of errors of now former Ferrari Chief Mattia Binotto.
That’s in the past now as Schumacher was signed by Mercedes for a reserve driver role in 2023, but Mercedes boss Toto Wolff doesn’t see why the German cannot make a return to a full time F1 seat of given the proper circumstances to perform.
“The most important factor is his personality,” Wolff told the media. “He is a well mannered, intelligent and talented young man. If you look at his junior career, he was very good. I believe if you give him a safe environment to develop, he can become a good racer in a permanent seat.”
Schumacher can emulate Nyck de Vries
Wolff referred to another driver from Mercedes’ program, Nyck de Vries, who despite not securing an F1 drive, kept hovering around the team after becoming a Formula 2 Champion, did a stint in Formula E, winning that Title as well, while being a Mercedes reserve.
De Vries finally got his chance at an F1 career, after impressing at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in 2022 scoring points, when he stood in for Williams’ Alex Albon, who was hospitalized for appendicitis.
Wolff explained: “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.
“He will contribute a lot by driving the new car for a year,” the Austrian said of Schumacher’s new role at Brackley. “He has been in Formula 1 for two years now, knows the tyres and the difficulties of the current generation of cars.
“He will be super helpful in the simulator and also in assessing the car. It will help us to have him at the track, for example in the debriefing room.
“He’s an incredible young driver. That’s why we definitely have a gain with Mick in our team,” Wolff concluded.