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Mick’s Diary: Life as an F1 Reserve Driver

It’s been a hectic three months for our new Reserve Driver, Mick Schumacher. From plenty of simulator work to marketing appearances… and a little surfing in between!

In this new series, Mick will be sharing his thoughts, feelings, and experiences throughout the year. First up, Mick discusses his first days at Brackley, what it’s like working with Lewis and George, plus a message for the fans.

Hi everyone and welcome to my diary!

Over the season, I’ll be keeping you up to date with how we’re progressing trackside and at the factory, and some insight into what I get up to away from racing. So, here’s my first entry.

Since I joined Mercedes, I’ve been settling in great. Everybody is just so open-minded towards me, and that made me feel welcome from the first moment I stepped into the factory in Brackley. I’ve spent a lot of time there in these first months. It’s a very impressive facility.

I visited it back in 2014 as a young driver and was even sneaking in the simulator then, but everything is a lot bigger now than it was then! It is a state-of-the-art facility, very impressive in how things are structured and how every detail is thoughtfully taken care of. I’m still getting used to the level of preparation that you see here, and I am trying to soak up as much information as I can. Also, there’s still a lot of people I haven’t met but it’s been fun getting to know as many colleagues as I can.

My main focus up to now has been working in the simulator. Because I have raced a car under this new set of regulations, I have a good understanding of how to drive them. That has helped me in my role so far and hopefully added value for the Team. I will look to be an extra pair of eyes and resource to help with the development programme across the year.

The simulator team have been super kind to me and great to work with. It’s impressive to drive the sim because it’s just so advanced, and I have been pushing to do more. It’s not enough for me to just sit on the side-lines, I want to be helpful wherever I can. Of course, it’s not the real thing and I would love to be driving the W14!

It's also been fascinating working with Lewis and George. It’s an interesting period for me as I get to look over and work with two fantastic drivers, which you don’t always get to do. I’ve learned a lot about what’s important in terms of approaching race weekends; I feel like I’ve already gained so much knowledge to add to my skillset. I didn’t think I would have learned and gained so much so early into my role.

As a driver, you usually do not get to hear what is going on between all the engineers while you are out on the track, so listening in during the sessions has been extremely interesting. I was quite shocked at the season opener in Bahrain, I did not expect the sheer amount of exchange that happens.

You don’t know what you’re missing until you are actually part of it. What I really appreciate in working with those engineers is that they are genuinely listening to you and your opinion matters, and what is special from an emotional side is that many people who are working for the Team now were working here when my dad was driving.

Whilst we’ve all been working hard, it’s important to keep a balance and get some downtime. I went out early to Australia and went surfing. I wouldn’t say that I’m a great surfer, but I have to say that I have come to love it and I feel it is not just for fun but also very helpful for training. Even at home in Switzerland I do a lot of surfing. Yes, this may sound strange when speaking of a country that’s not famous for its beaches, but we have a surf spot close to where I live.

It can’t beat the adrenaline rush of motorsport though and I’m excited to get back to Brackley and continue our work. We’re working through quite a lot of simulator sessions before the next race in Baku so we will do some virtual mileage and be pushing hard to bring performance to the car.

To finish my first diary entry, I wanted to speak directly to you, the fans. Thank you to everyone for the warm welcome to the Team, and for the support you’ve shown me. It’s no secret that I would, like any driver, love to be out there racing. My current role though is helping me grow and develop, which is great.