Schumacher 'learned a lot' during 'fun' test with Mercedes


Mick Schumacher says he enjoyed a "productive" day with Mercedes in Barcelona on Wednesday, the young German enjoying his first laps of the year onboard an F1 car as part of Pirelli's 2023 tyre development programme.

Schumacher, who took over from George Russell who ran on Tuesday, was tasked with evaluating new tyres that Pirelli will introduce next season in F1 that don't require to be pre-heated with a blanket.

The 24-year-old racked up 152 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya over the course of the day as he collected a trove of important data and information for F1's exclusive tyre supplier.

"It was great. I learned a lot and it was a lot of fun," Schumacher said. "It was a very productive day; we got through everything we wanted to and ran every test tyre on the plan.

"It was also good to have that first experience of the tyres without any blankets. Obviously having not driven in a while, I felt it physically, but it was good to be back in the driving seat."


Schumacher said his outing also allowed him to fine-tune his preparations as a potential substitute at Mercedes.

"This experience will definitely benefit me in my role," he added. "I have a better understanding of what to look out for and what to work on.

"I also have a better understanding of all the procedures and how the Team works trackside. That would be a key factor in case I ever have to jump in and race."

Schumacher was already very familiar with Mercedes' W14 before getting back in the saddle on Wednesday, having spent countless hours onboard the machine in the team's simulator.

But he admitted that there is no substitute for driver an F1 car in the "real world".

"There is obviously a difference between the simulator and driving in the real world," he said.

"There will always be a difference as the technology is not at a point where you can compare it 100%. However, it is the closest experience I’ve had between a simulator and real life.


"The simulator has prepared me, and the team has made a great effort of correlating it.

"That helped me to know what to expect when driving it. It’s clear why this team is an eight-time World Champion.

"I’m very excited for the rest of the year. I’ve had a great time today and hopefully I’ll be back in a car at some point.

"I loved every bit of it! I want to say a big thank you to everybody for this opportunity."

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