Michael Schumacher’s Son Mick Set To Make His Ferrari F1 Test Debut
Mick Schumacher will be the focus of much attention this weekend, and not just due to his famous name. He is of course the son of the legendary seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher, and in his latest step of seeking to follow in his father’s footsteps Mick is making his race debut in Formula 2—F1’s direct feeder series—in the season-opening double-header that supports this weekend’s F1 Bahrain Grand Prix. Schumacher driving for the Prema team seized last year’s FIA European Formula 3 title with an astonishing late run of form. This year he graduates to F2 and again races with Prema–which looks a good place to be as within the last three seasons both Pierre Gasly and Charles Leclerc have won the F1’s feeder series championship with the squad, before going onto F1. They’re both now in plum drives too—Gasly at Red Bull; Leclerc at Ferrari.
But as if Schumacher having his first ever F2 races this weekend was not enough, it has been reported that following on just afterwards, in the post Bahrain Grand Prix F1 test, he will get his first outing in a modern F1 car too. Further it will be in a Ferrari where his father had the bulk of his towering success, winning five of his world titles there. The reports indicate that Mick will kick off by driving the latest Ferrari on Tuesday before switching to an Alfa Romeo–that team is affiliated with Ferrari and its academy–the following day. It will be Schumacher’s first experience of driving an up-to-date F1 car though he did drive his father’s 1994 championship-winning Benetton in a show run at the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix. Following his F3 success Schumacher was snapped up as a 2019 inductee of the Ferrari Driver Academy in January. A number of members of this academy have moved into F1 race drives in recent times. In addition to Leclerc, their number includes Sergio Pérez, now at Racing Point, Antonio Giovinazzi at Sauber and the late Jules Bianchi who drove for Marussia.
Speaking in advance of his freshman F2 campaign, Schumacher insisted that the perhaps inevitable comparisons with his father—particularly given the Ferrari connection—do not perturb him. “Being compared to my father was never a problem for me,” he said. “It’s pretty simple, for me being compared to the best driver in F1 history is the goal you want to achieve and to have that as my idol and my father is something very special and I feel honored to be compared to him because I just learn and try to improve. I can learn so much from Ferrari because they have so much experience and that’s going to be a point where I want to work with them to be achieving the maximum I can. The first impressions I had from Ferrari were so heart-opening, welcoming me in a family which was always part of my family so I guess the combination of both was very positive.”
Images courtesy of Octane Photography