Williams’ team principal is James Vowles, Wolff’s long-time confidante at Mercedes.

Vowles is being told to drop one of his drivers mid-season in favour of Schumacher, according to F1 Insider.

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Sargeant, the rookie from the United States, is described in the report as “shaky”.

His F1 career has not started well - he and Nyck de Vries are the only two drivers to remain without a point after five grands prix.

Alex Albon, Sargeant’s more experienced teammate, has just one point of his own though.

But Mercedes’ team principal Wolff is using his personal relationship with Vowles to engineer a full-time comeback to the grid for Schumacher, the report says.

Schumacher was dropped by Haas last season amid criticism from their team principal Guenther Steiner.

This year Schumacher is Mercedes’ third driver, at the team where his legendary father Michael Schumacher ended his career.

But a full-time racing seat remains Schumacher’s goal and an opportunity at Williams could open this summer.

Sargeant will have three more grands prix - Emilia-Romagna, Monaco and Spain - to “convince” Williams before his role is “reevaluated”.

A potential opening at AlphaTauri for Schumacher, however, has been denied.

De Vries is also under pressure but Schumacher would not be considered as a replacement.

"He's a Mercedes driver and he's not in our plans,” Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko said.

“Accordingly, Toto Wolff is responsible for him.”