Mick Schumacher on how he felt sitting out his first F1 race since Haas axe
While Mick Schumacher was pleased to be on hand for Mercedes over the weekend, being at the Bahrain Grand Prix as a reserve driver confirmed to him that he wants to find himself back into a race drive as soon as he can.
The German was overlooked for a third season at Haas, with the team opting for experience by replacing him with Nico Hulkenberg – but Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff quickly acquired Schumacher’s services to act as back-up for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell this season instead.
Speaking on the post-Bahrain episode of the F1 Nation podcast, the Mercedes reserve has opened up about life with his new employers, having now experienced a race weekend as a third driver.
“I mean, in some ways, it definitely feels great for me because I’ve come from a car, obviously, which has been quite difficult to drive and jump into a simulator which is pretty accurate and pretty close to, I would say, reality,” Schumacher said of his new role.
“It’s really been good to have that feeling to be also able to try out a few different things in the simulator. From what the drivers say, it’s really not too far away.”
But while he will be completing plenty of hours in the Mercedes simulator and attending races in case either Hamilton or Russell cannot compete, the 23-year-old confirmed being forced to watch from the sidelines only increased his hunger to get back out there again.
There is still plenty of time for him to secure a place on the grid again in 2024, with last year’s Mercedes reserve Nyck de Vries now lining up for AlphaTauri and Esteban Ocon having also faced similar circumstances in the past, spending time as the Silver Arrows’ third driver in 2019 before moving to Renault.
So that means it is far from impossible that Schumacher could get himself back onto the grid again, and he said seeing the cars go by without him on track has only fuelled his motivation to do so.
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“I’ve been sat on this stool there with my hands and my arms and just felt like the day was never going to end because I just wanted to jump into the car,” he said with a smile about his weekend’s activities.
“But it’s also another factor which proves to me and to myself that I really, really want this – and it shows that I’m not okay with not being in the car.
“I don’t know what the future brings. I mean, it’s difficult to say. I feel very much at home at Mercedes, and therefore definitely have to see what options I have for the upcoming season. But also, I guess, a lot of that will be kind of shown as the year goes by.”
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