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Ralf Schumacher tips Mick for future Hamilton replacement at Mercedes

The German has signed on as their reserve driver for 2022, but there could be a longer future in store as Lewis Hamilton's contract expires soon.

Ralf Schumacher believes there could be a future in store for nephew Mick Schumacher, after the German signed on as their reserve driver for 2023. Mick was replaced at Haas by fellow compatriot Nico Hulkenberg at the end of the season, owing to inconsistencies with his performance as the team break into the midfield. The move to Mercedes as a reserve was seen as a stop-gap, as he potentially eyes a return to the grid with Audi or another midfield team in the future. But Ralf believes there could be an opportunity for him at Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton's contract expiring at the end of 2023. "It's a great opportunity for Mick. He can look over the shoulder of a top team at work and learn a lot," Ralf said in an interview Sport1.de . "And he's not just a development driver, where he can certainly help Mercedes return to the top in the simulator; as a reserve driver, he has to replace a regular driver in case he drops out. We've had this situation more often in the last three years. "Lewis Hamilton is still an absolute top driver, but he's no longer the youngest. So you never know, I think it's a win-win situation for the team and Mick."

Ralf Schumacher: Something could happen at Mercedes

While Ralf says that a future move to Audi would "make sense" for Mick after Andreas Seidl became CEO of Sauber, he believes "something could happen" at Mercedes. He said: ''Audi would definitely make sense. For Mick and for Audi. But something could also happen at Mercedes.'' Schumacher believes that any Mercedes opportunity would depend on how well George Russell performs against Hamilton, as the Briton looks to assert himself as the team's number one in the future. "Let's assume George Russell is faster than Lewis Hamilton again. Will he [Hamilton] then continue at all? That will be exciting [to see]," added Schumacher. "But Lewis has so much credit with Mercedes that he can decide for himself. In any case, the money won't be a factor for him. He has more than enough of that. The decisive factor will be who suits the new car better."

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