Why isn’t Mick Schumacher driving a Mercedes in Formula 1? That is the question that racing fans cannot find an answer for.
The question rises now more than ever. Mick Schumacher has just been promoted to Formula 1, even before getting his first World Championship title in Formula 2. He has already joined the Haas testing program in Abu Dhabi, but he was the slowest. „His attitude was excellent, as was his understanding of the program, his understanding of the car and working with the engineers to improve tire management. We are happy”, said Haas Chief Technology Officer, Ayao Komatsu.
Even though Mercedes was his father’s last team in Formula 1, Mick goes to a Ferrari-powered squad. „We mustn’t accelerate Mick too much, because then the expectations of the fans will be far too high. Mick has now won Formula 2. That is another sign that he is capable of becoming a racing driver”, says the Team Principal of Mercedes-AMG Petronas.
„At Haas he is part of a team that can sometimes set good accents, but not regularly. Now we just have to give him two or three years to develop there. Maybe he will get a chance in a Ferrari. Just like George Russell got it from us”, Toto Wolff added.
George Russell though has already spent two seasons in Formula 1 and he drove for Mercedes in Abu Dhabi, following Lewis Hamilton’s infection with COVID-19. He was leading the race when he became the victim of a major team error, with the mechanics fitting Valtteri Bottas’s tires on his car.
Mick Schumacher, inches away from becoming a Mercedes driver
Mick Schumacher was inches away from actually becoming a Mercedes driver. Before becoming a Ferrari junior in January 2019, he was a Mercedes Brand Ambassador. He advertised for the brand and seemed to be a Mercedes product all the way. He won his Formula 3 European Championship title with a Mercedes engine. Yet he never made it to the Mercedes junior program.
The junior program of the premium car maker already has produced two drivers who already have seats in Formula 1. Esteban Ocon has just signed a two-year contract with Renault, while George Russell will remain with Williams. He seems to be Toto Wolff’s first choice in case of need of a replacement. Lewis Hamilton has not signed the extension of a contract yet, with negotiations going on for months.
There are certain similarities between Mick’s career start and that of his father’s. Mercedes funded Michael Schumacher’s debut in Formula 1 with Jordan. Eventually, the German driver drove for Benetton for the rest of that season and several seasons after. He went to Ferrari in 1996 and finally got to drive a Mercedes in Formula 1 in 2010. It was the moment he returned to racing following his retirement.