Mercedes reserve driver Mick Schumacher may have thought that he got a welcome break at the Silver Arrows following his departure from Haas, but he has been hit with an early roadblock.
Mick, son of the legendary Michael Schumacher, had a credible record in lower tiers of motorsport ahead of his Haas debut a couple of years back, but his performances in F1 have offered a mixed bag.
While it is clear that he has the talent to succeed in F1, his lack of experience and a rather poor Haas car meant that Mick’s talent has only been visible to fans sporadically.
The move to Mercedes ahead of the 2023 season, while not being a full-time seat, was seen as a good career move for Mick.
However, it has now emerged that he will only get a very limited number of appearances in Mercedes’ new challenger to push his case.
A combination of factors has led to this, the greatest of which is Mercedes’ poor 2022 showing.
The Silver Arrows partnership of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will be keen to ensure that they are better equipped to compete against Red Bull and Ferrari this season.
In effect, this means more testing time for the primary drivers as they look to get a gauge on where the team stands ahead of the season.
F1’s rules dictate the need for a team to feature a youngster in at least two practice sessions over the course of the season.
Mercedes plan to show off the livery of the W14 on February 15, and the team will be involved in a 100km shakedown the same day.
Pre-season testing in Bahrain will begin roughly a week after that.
What is Mick’s best option at Mercedes?
Schumacher will not be allowed to get even a few laps under his belt due to pressure being applied by Hamilton and Russell to get maximum laps in themselves ahead of the start of the new season.
What this means for Mick is a whole deal of extra time which he is likely to spend in the team’s simulator at their Brackley base.
There is no disputing the fact that this is an important element for each team as well, since the reserve can pass valuable information to the main drivers on a weekly basis.
However, it is perhaps not exactly what Mick had bargained for when he signed the deal with Mercedes.
Nonetheless, at this nascent stage of his career, it is imperative that Mick seeks opportunity to impress in everything that gets thrown at him during his time at Mercedes.