McLaren set to share Mercedes F1 reserve drivers again

McLaren will continue to share reserve drivers with Mercedes in Formula 1 this year as part of a continued agreement between the two teams.

McLaren set to share Mercedes F1 reserve drivers again

McLaren raced without its own nominated reserve driver last season after agreeing to call on Mercedes' back-ups if needed, with the agreement to remain in place this year should circumstances arise where a stand-in driver is required.

Mercedes currently has Formula E drivers Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries already locked in as its official reserves and both are familiar with McLaren.

Vandoorne raced for the operation in 2017 and 2018, and logic suggests that it would be relatively easy for the Belgian to step if needed.

De Vries was previously a McLaren junior driver, although he didn’t sample an F1 car until he handled a Mercedes in the Abu Dhabi test in December.

“On our side we will do the same again as last year,” said team principal Andreas Seidl.

“We will have an agreement again with Toto, with Mercedes, to use their reserve drivers in case of an emergency. We’re happy with that.”

Read Also:

While McLaren has revealed its plans regarding reserve drivers, Mercedes has been in discussion with free-agent Nico Hulkenberg as a potential super sub if one of its reserves is unavailable.

Vandoorne and de Vries both have Formula E commitments that currently collide with Spanish, Monaco and Azerbaijan GPs in the first part of the year, and there could be further clashes later in the season.

Mercedes hopes to have Hulkenberg available for those weekends, potentially sharing the German’s services with partner team Aston Martin.

Hulkenberg stood in three times at the former Racing Point outfit in 2020, when first Sergio Perez and then Lance Stroll were sidelined after positive COVID tests.

“There is a situation that our two reserve drivers, Stoffel and Nyck, are racing in Formula E and there are certain races where there is an overlap,” said Wolff when asked by Motorsport.com about Mercedes' talks with Hulkenberg.

“I think Nico knows the current generation of F1 cars and the tyres. And it would be good to have him in the line-up as a solution, maybe to be shared with other teams, because he’s a known quantity and well respected.

“It would be good, but it’s not [done] yet, we didn’t put pen to paper.”

It’s understood that Hulkenberg is talking to Aston Martin about reprising his reserve role in 2021, but as is the case with Mercedes, no deal has been agreed.

shares
comments

Related video

Teams happy with F1 sprint race plans ahead of Bahrain meeting

Previous article

Teams happy with F1 sprint race plans ahead of Bahrain meeting

Next article

Verstappen ends first day of F1 pre-season testing on top

Verstappen ends first day of F1 pre-season testing on top
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams McLaren
Author Adam Cooper
How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021