McLaren set to share Mercedes F1 reserves 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 reserves 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 already familiar with McLaren.

Vandoorne raced for its F1 operation in 2017 and 2018, and logic suggests that it would be relatively easy for the Belgian to step in if needed.

De Vries was previously a McLaren junior driver, but 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.”

While McLaren has revealed its plans regarding reserve drivers, Mercedes has been in discussion with free-agent Nico Hulkenberg as a potential supersub 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.

Nico Hulkenberg, Racing Point, on the grid

Nico Hulkenberg, Racing Point, on the grid

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

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 Autosport 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 fastest after opening day of F1 Bahrain testing

Verstappen fastest after opening day of F1 Bahrain testing
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Nico Hulkenberg , Stoffel Vandoorne , Nyck de Vries
Teams McLaren , Mercedes
Author Adam Cooper
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021