Schumacher was dropped by Haas for F1 2023 as they favoured Hulkenberg for his consistency and experience.

Schumacher’s run of high-profile shunts ultimately cost him his seat, forcing him to look elsewhere. 

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Unable to find a drive for 2023, Schumacher joined Mercedes as their reserve and test driver - a role held by Nyck de Vries in 2022, who is now at AlphaTauri.

Before making his comeback for this year, Hulkenberg spent several seasons on the sidelines himself as Racing Point/Aston Martin’s reserve driver.

Hulkenberg thinks Schumacher’s time away from the pressure cooker that is F1 will be beneficial.

“Just keep at it. It’s a chance for him to have more time because he’s not in the seat and doesn’t have the pressure to perform at the moment,” Hulkenberg told Sport Bild.

“He will be able to learn a lot at Mercedes from one of the best drivers ever [Lewis Hamilton]. That's valuable experience he can gain there and use for himself.”

Reflecting on his own time away from the sport, Hulkenberg explained how it’s made him more “motivated”.

“After 2019, it was a conscious decision to leave F1, knowing that there might not be a way back,” he added.

“From the middle of the year, I wasn’t in the best shape mentally at the time. The break gave me a good distance and reset.

“Of course it was different to follow F1 from a distance. But the time also did me good. It was necessary for me and is certainly the reason why I’m very settled, motivated, fresh and ready to attack here now.”