Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff believes that other Formula 1 teams are “missing out” by not having Mick Schumacher as part of its set-up.

Schumacher is currently employed at Mercedes as its reserve driver after being dropped by Haas at the end of the 2022 season.

The German driver is targeting a full-time return to F1, however Wolff previously stated that his chances of a seat in 2024 are low.

At the Spanish Grand Prix, both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell praised the 24-year-old for his simulator work throughout the weekend, as Mercedes bagged its first double podium of the year.

Wolff, too, has now highlighted Schumacher’s impact on Mercedes in the first half of 2023.

“I’m not even sure that we can facilitate [a seat], because every time we speak highly of him, somebody feels to say something negative,” Wolff said.

“Wherever I can speak highly and praise Mick, that’s what I’m doing.

“But in the end, it’s every team’s authority to decide on their drivers, and I very much respect that contracts with the teams, whenever you have to take our junior driver, you have to take our reserve driver, because when I was at Williams, I also wanted to have my own choice. 

“I think teams are missing out, to be honest. I think he was burned last year. 

“You need to give and provide an environment that is different to every driver, all different human beings. And whoever gets him will have a very good pilot.”

Schumacher returned to the cockpit of an F1 car earlier this month at Pirelli test in Barcelona, which marked his first outing since last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Despite not being involved in any racing action this season, Wolff is confident that Schumacher would be ready to drive if he is called upon by the team.

“It’s great to have a mature, successful and mature Formula 1 driver supporting us,” he said. 

“In the sim with his feedback, that is a tremendous advantage, in some of the European grands prix, having him in the simulator overnight and providing data for the Saturday is a super advantage for us. 

“And on the other side is that, if George or Lewis were to have fish poisoning – well, Lewis can’t have fish poisoning, it would be avocado poisoning – then we know we have a super guy that would drive the car well. 

“And as much as I like the situation for the benefit of the team, I would every day of the week prefer that Mick sits in a cockpit and actually races.”

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