Mick Schumacher is seen most weekends hovering around Mercedes boss Toto Wolff’s shoulder as they watch Formula 1 on the Telly, which hurts the young German but also motivates him to find a seat on the grid for 2024 despite the high odds of it happening.
Mick, son of F1 legend Michael Schumacher it pains him to have to watch, despite the privileged place he is doing it from. As F1 reserve for Mercedes, his role is to be in the pits, ready just in case something befalls the main drivers, Lewis Hamilton or George Russell. The role also includes substantial simulator work.
In this manner, 24-year-old Schumacher junior has his foot in the F1 door and lives in the hope that a drive will materialise. Despite his forgettable, mismanaged years at Haas. A chapter that seriously undermined his F1 potential as time has shown Guenther Steiner was ill-equipped to deal with a rookie like Mick. He broke the kid, is the general consensus in the paddock.
Thus, speaking to F1-Insider, Schumacher was asked for his message to the current F1 team bosses, he replied with confidence: “You haven’t seen the real Mick yet.”
Even the diminishing chance of securing a seat has not floored the German: “Hope dies last. As long as all the seats are not taken, it is not over. In the last two or three years we have seen that things can still change, even if contracts exist. So it would be wrong to give up hope.”
As for his role as F1 reserve including the extra seat time in the Merc sim, Schumacher said: “It achieved a lot in many ways, probably even more than I expected. The simulator work was particularly helpful. I was able to see how a top team works.”
But the pain of not racing and being pictured on the F1 live feed on the boss’s shoulder, instead of in the race car, is everpresent said Mick: “It hurts, of course. I would be lying if I said I liked it. I am a racing driver. All I want to do is win. But I have to come to terms with reality, keep working on myself, keep networking and present myself.”
Hakkinen advice to Mick: Brake later, accelerate earlier…
Sharing his thoughts on the plight of his great rival’s son, Mika Hakkinen weighed in: “It is generally very difficult for young drivers today. Back in my day, there were a lot more tests and the drivers had time to develop.
“Today there are practically no tests left; at most you just sit in the simulator. And will be judged accordingly. When I came to McLaren, the team gave me time to develop. Today you have to be successful right away. If not, you’re out. My advice to Mick is: Brake later, accelerate earlier…” added the inimitable Finn.
Meanwhile the glimmer of hope that Schumacher is that Wolff is in there lobbying his cause, and as PU supplier to Williams may wield some influence. But maybe not.
“I think he deserves to be on the starting grid,” insists Wolff, while explaining Schumacher’s woeful 2022 season. “The moment you are in the car If you don’t feel confident for a longer period of time, you put more pressure on yourself and perform less well.”
“Mick is fast. If you win Formula 3 and Formula 2 then you have great potential. And he was never able to show that in F1,” argued Wolff for the Schumacher ‘F1 Part 2’ cause which appears not totally dead in the water.
But if it is, another year on the sidelines, not racing will be career suicide on all levels. Hence a competitive campaign in 2024 would be vital. The resurgent and burgeoning FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) is attracting top talent fast and would be an ideal platform for Schumacher to further his motorsport career.
He is aware: “Of course, I’ve thought about it and I’m setting it up at the same time.” Suggesting that if the slim chance of a return to F1 with Williams goes begging, he is in talks to be part of a WEC campaign next year.
Meanwhile, Schumacher is ticking off his F1 ambitions: “Getting into Formula 1 was the first goal. The second goal is still open, namely becoming world champion.”
Big Question: Does Mick Schumacher deserve another chance in F1?