Toto Wolff feels uncomfortable with Mercedes’ current deal to supply McLaren engines in 2014, feeling wary of any information transfer occurring before the team switches to Honda engines one season later.
McLaren confirmed the deal with Honda last month, but it confused many with it coming one year after the new engine regulations come into force, and it has left Mercedes treading carefully until the end of their deal with the British team.
“Supplying McLaren for one more year is indeed not a pleasant situation,” Wolff told Kleine Zeitung.
“But I’m confident that McLaren will abide by the rules of the contract and not share any data.”
McLaren were in a similar situation last season, with the team members having to ensure that any information about their 2013 car was not given to the outgoing Lewis Hamilton, who signed for Mercedes with six races left on his contract.
As Wolff stated, the contract does forbid any information being transferred between engine suppliers; nevertheless, Mercedes will be hoping that the returning Honda do not gain too much from their foundations at McLaren. Despite losing McLaren as a customer, the German engine manufacturer will be supplying Williams with engines from 2014, which means that there will be four Mercedes-powered teams on the grid next season.
MARANELLO, Italy — Mick Schumacher, son of the legednary seven-time champion, will have an official Formula One drive during an F1 race weekend for the first time next week at the Nurburgring, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari said Tuesday.
Schumacher gets the practice drive in an Alfa Romeo on Oct. 9 on his home track in Germany as a member of Ferrari’s young driver program, taking over Antonio Giovinazzi’s car for the first session of the weekend.
“I am overjoyed to get this chance in free practice,” Schumacher said in a statement. “I’m going to prepare myself well, so that I can do the best possible job for the team and gain some valuable data for the weekend.”
The 21-year-old Schumacher leads the Formula 2 standings after winning races in Monza and Sochi. He won the European Formula 3 championship in 2018 and tested a Ferrari F1 car in Bahrain in April 2019. He also has done demonstration runs in his father’s old cars, most recently this month ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix in a championship-winning 2004 Ferrari.
Michael Schumacher holds the F1 record with 91 victories, which Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of tying.
Ferrari said two other drivers in its academy program will also get practice drives in Formula One.
Callum Ilott, a British driver who is second to Mick Schumacher in F2, will drive an F1 Haas at the Nurburgring on the same day as Schumacher. Russian driver Robert Shwartzman will drive in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Dec. 11, though Ferrari hasn’t said for which team.
The German round was added to the F1 schedule after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season and will be officially known as the Eifel Grand Prix after a nearby mountain range. The Nurburgring last hosted F1 in 2013.