Mick Schumacher will back up Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri as reserve driver at McLaren this season, according to Sky Sports. The German driver, who lost the Haas seat at the end of 2022, is performing a similar role at Mercedes for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, and the McLaren reserve seat is part of an arrangement with Mercedes.
“Schumacher, who lost his Haas drive in November after two years, was quickly snapped up by Mercedes to back up Lewis Hamilton and George Russell this season and he will perform a similar role at McLaren. He will be called into action should Lando Norris or rookie Oscar Piastri be unavailable for any reason,” Sky wrote.
McLaren had similar arrangements with other teams and had former Mercedes reserve Nyck de Vries on standby last season before Norris recovered from illness.
McLaren confirmed the news on Wednesday and added that new McLaren boss Andrea Stella “worked closely with Mick’s father, the legendary Michael Schumacher, as his performance engineer”
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the team are likely to be open to allowing newly-recruited reserve driver Schumacher to leave if an opportunity for a permanent F1 seat arises elsewhere, as per Sky. With Hamilton and Russell as mainstays, Schumacher’s most likely return to the grid will come away from the team, the website added.
Asked about his decision to sign Schumacher, Wolff said: “The most important factor is his personality. He’s a well-educated, intelligent and talented young man.
“You can see his junior career track record was very good and I believe that if we can give him a safe environment to further develop, he can be a good racing driver in a permanent seat in the future.”