Schumacher reveals the key lesson learned from Hamilton and Russell after year with Mercedes
Mick Schumacher has revealed the major lesson he’s learned from seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team mate George Russell, following a year spent as the Silver Arrows’ reserve driver.
Schumacher lost his seat at Haas after two seasons at the end of 2022, the German handed an opportunity as reserve driver for Mercedes (and McLaren) in 2023, as compatriot Nico Hulkenberg took his spot at Haas.
With the German set to dovetail his reserve duties next year with a racing return in the World Endurance Championship with Alpine, Schumacher opened up about what his year on the sidelines had taught him.
“I know as a driver now much more what I want from my team around me,” Schumacher said at the F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi, “from what I feel like I'm worth and what I can bring to a team.
“Obviously going into my first year in Formula 1 [in 2021], it was kind of hard to know exactly what should be my position and how far can I go with my comments and everything. And having worked with Lewis and George for one year now, I kind of know how high the bar is set and how far I can go, and I have no problem sharing my information in the future.
“Obviously on the driving side, as I haven't been driving, it's kind of difficult to work on it,” added the 2020 F2 champion. “But in general, still taking all that information that I've been given from Mercedes, with also just observing and everything – yes, I definitely feel like I've done a step forwards.”
Meanwhile, Schumacher also revealed a key lesson he’d learned from former team mate Kevin Magnussen ahead of his move to the World Endurance Championship – with Magnussen having looked set to compete in the series in 2022 before a shock recall to the Haas team he’d left at the end of 2020.
“Lots of drivers usually in Formula 1 are selfish,” said Schumacher. “But on the other hand, also I worked with Kevin last year, and Kevin had had that feeling of sharing a car [in sports cars] and seeing the benefit of working with another driver, so that philosophy was quite impactful to me.
“I think in Formula 1, there would be a lot of people that would benefit from it, if both drivers were working together.”
Asked, meanwhile, if a return to actual racing for 2024 had been important to him, Schumacher replied: “Yeah, very important. Obviously having sat out the whole year, it has been tough. And I'm just excited to be back in a car, and do a race and have a new challenge.
“Obviously I'm a racing driver – I haven't been out of racing in 14 years, I think, previous to this, so it was definitely a clear choice and a clear direction that I wanted to be racing again next year.
“Definitely I see [the World Endurance Championship] as a challenge, but I also see it as something where I, as a driver, can develop further, and hopefully as well, if let's say my way leads back to Formula 1 one day, then I'll be able to take that development that I have done in that series over to Formula 1.”