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Mick Schumacher reason for recent Mercedes success

The Brackley outfit and key figures in F1 believe Michael Schumacher's son has been instrumental in the team's recent turnaround

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Both Mercedes drivers and uncle Ralf Schumacher have voiced their praises on Mick Schumacher in his role in helping Mercedes secure a double podium at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Mick's Diary: What It's Like Being an F1 Reserve Driver - Mercedes-AMG  PETRONAS F1 Team
The three drivers for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team (Image Credit: Steve Etherington for Mercedes Grand Prix Ltd.)

The team based in Brackley brought significant upgrades to the Monaco Grand Prix, including a change to a more conventional sidepod design. The W14 however didn’t make many inroads on its rivals around the narrow city streets, managing P4 and P5 at the chequered flag.

And it seemed like Spain would be a similar story. Speaking after the race around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (in which Mercedes secured a double podium), Lewis Hamilton stated: “Friday was a real struggle with the balance, it was way out of the window. It was very hard to drive, very unpredictable.”

But behind the scenes, Mercedes reserve driver Mick Schumacher put in the graft over the Friday night to suggest a few setup tweaks which completely transformed the car for the better.

Hamilton’s teammate George Russell could hardly believe the sudden change in fortune: “Definitely this season, it is probably the best it’s felt, the most together it’s felt.”

“The team’s done a really, really great job. The work that Mick and the simulator team are doing overnight, they were there well past midnight to help us with the set-up and get it in a good window for the race today.”

Hamilton also congratulated Schumacher for his work in bringing the W14 to new heights. He said: “We’ve got a great team, with Mick back in the simulator on Friday night, and he did some great work, which helped us get on the right track on Saturday.”

Uncle on nephew’s positive impact
Ralf Schumacher (left) (Image Credit: @rbracingturk on Twitter)

Schumacher’s uncle Ralf, who also won six Grand Prix in his Formula 1 career, believes that the latest news demonstrates his nephew’s importance in bringing Mercedes back to former glory.

After being dropped by Haas at the end of the 2022 season, many believe that Mick took a step back in assuming a reserve driver role with the 2021 Constructors’ Champions.

But Ralf thinks his recent exploits will help him in his quest of getting back in a full-time F1 seat for 2024. He stated: “I’m happy for Mick. He makes decisions with the engineers in the simulator for the development and coordination of the car, so Hamilton and Russell have to trust him.”

“People will look and you can certainly draw comparisons to the other drivers and teams. Mick can set an exclamation mark – even in a team.”

Mercedes’ 2023 so far

Mercedes were expecting to move up the field following a lacklustre 2022 campaign. Sticking to their radical “sidepod-less” design didn’t work out however, as the likes of Aston Martin started this year faster than them.

But their latest aerodynamic changes have catapulted them to within touching distance of runaway leaders Red Bull. Notably in the Spanish Grand Prix, Red Bull driver Sergio Perez was unable to catch Russell in the battle for the final podium spot, sparking speculation that Mercedes could challenge the Austrian team for race wins later in the season.

Can Mick uncover more gains on the simulator in the coming months? Only time will tell…

Feature Image Credit: XPB Images

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