Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff says the team's reserve driver Mick Schumacher deserves to be on the grid in 2024.
Schumacher took on a reserve role at the Silver Arrows having been dropped from Haas at the end of last season, joining the team his seven-time World Champion father Michael had raced for between 2010 and 2012.
The German has been linked with a move to Williams next term to replace Logan Sargeant, who is yet to score a championship point in his rookie year and while Wolff did not directly address those rumours, he did say his driver was worthy of a race drive next year.
"I think he deserves to be on the grid," Wolff told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"The moment you're not feeling confident in a car over a prolonged period, the more pressure you put on yourself, the less good you perform, and I think this happened at Haas [in 2022].
"He is quick – if you win F3 and F2 [championships, as Schumacher did], there is high potential in you, and he was never able to show it [in F1]."
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Wolff praises 'tremendous' contribution
Wolff also hailed Schumacher's work ethic, with the German frequently knuckling down to simulator work until the small hours of the morning during a Grand Prix weekend in order to find gains to help regular drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell climb the timesheets.
"I'm glad we have a third driver that I know will do the job if one of ours eats a bad fish," said Wolff.
"But his contribution in the simulator is tremendous, and that makes us sometimes do these big jumps from Friday to Saturday, because he's driving his socks off overnight."