Schumacher reveals “sneaky” first visit to Mercedes for simulator trial in 2014 | 2022 F1 season


Mick Schumacher has revealed he once made a “sneaky visit” to the Mercedes team while still in karting, to conduct a secret simulator session.

The 23-year-old, who has joined the team as a reserve driver for the 2023 F1 season, referred to his first visit to the Brackley headquarters as a teenager in a video released by the team.

“The changes that are obvious since 2014, which was the last time I came here, which was like a kind of a sneaky visit, and do my first simulator session at the time,” he said.

“So to see the growth in the team is immense. And it shows why the team is at the standard that it’s at right now. I’m very happy to be part of it, very excited to see more of it and get to know everybody.”

Schumacher’s father Michael raced for Mercedes between 2010 until his retirement from F1 at the end of 2012. By 2014 his son was racing in junior karting as a factory driver of Tony Kart, a brand that had links to the Ferrari Formula 1 team his father had also raced for and won five world championships with, and also its young driver academy.

Schumacher was still racing karts in 2014

Mercedes had only just launched their own young driver development programme, which had no single-seater or kart drivers among its ranks at the time. Schumacher did not compete under his father’s name early in his career to shield him from the high public interest in the activities of the seven-times F1 champion’s son.

Having initially competed as Mick Betsch – his mother’s maiden name – in 2014 he switched to ‘Mick Junior’. He produced the best results of his career to date that year, coming second in the German, European and World Junior Karting championships.

Schumacher would eventually establish his own F1 affiliation by joining the Ferrari Driver Academy in 2019. He remained a part of through his title-winning 2020 Formula 2 season and then his two years racing in F1 for Haas. His recent exit from scheme, after he lost his Haas drive, enabled him to join Mercedes.

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