Ferrari F1 test driver Mick Schumacher emulates father Michael with strong showing in Bahrain


April 03, 2019 10:16:59

More than 12 years after Formula One great Michael Schumacher drove his last race for Ferrari, his son has shown he might be ready to carry on the family legacy.

Key points

  • Mick Schumacher, 20, completed his first day of F1 testing for the Ferrari team
  • He is the reigning European F3 champion driver, and is now racing in F2 for Prema Racing
  • His father, Michael, won seven F1 world titles — including five with Ferrari — before suffering severe injuries in a skiing accident

Mick Schumacher drove in his first F1 test for Ferrari on Tuesday and set the second-fastest time.

Shortly before the end of the afternoon session in Bahrain, the 20-year-old posted a time of one minute, 29.976 seconds.

That was briefly the fastest time of the day before it was surpassed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who was 0.597 seconds faster.

His time was set on the softest, and fastest, C5 tyres — softer than anyone else’s — and he completed 56 laps on a day where track time was limited by bad weather washing out much of the middle of the day.

“I really enjoyed today. It felt like home in the garage from the very first moment, with a lot of people that know me since I was very young,” he said.

It was the first time since 2012 a Schumacher had led an official Formula One time chart.

“The SF90 is incredible because of the power it has, but it is also smooth to drive, and that’s why I enjoyed myself so much,” Mick Schumacher said.

“I was impressed by the braking power an F1 car has. It seemed to me you could brake later and later and the car would have made the turn anyway.”

The reigning European F3 champion will also test with the Ferrari-powered Alfa Romeo team (formerly Sauber) on Wednesday.

The performance is likely to generate even more excitement about the prospect of seeing a Schumacher driving in Ferrari’s famed red car again.

Five of his father’s record seven F1 titles were won with Ferrari from 2000-04. His 50-year-old father also holds the record for F1 wins with 91.

Despite the focus, the younger Schumacher appeared calm and was smiling when he arrived at the Ferrari garage and drove onto the track for the first time, watched by his mother, Corinna.

He was sixth fastest in the morning session, which was twice interrupted by rain, with a best time of 1.32.552 over 30 laps.

Schumacher, who won the F3 European Championship title last year, is competing in F2 for the Prema Racing team this season and finished eighth and sixth in his first two races at the weekend.

There has been speculation he could be in F1 by 2020 if he shines this season.

Mick Schumacher is part of Ferrari’s driver academy, as was the 21-year-old Charles Leclerc, who is now racing for Ferrari after just one season with Alfa Romeo Sauber in F1 last year.

Michael Schumacher drove his last race for Ferrari on October 22, 2006, at Interlagos in Brazil. He retired but returned to F1 with Mercedes for three more seasons in 2010.

Tuesday’s test was Mick Schumacher’s first experience of a modern F1 car, although he did drive his father’s 1994 title-winning Benetton at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit before the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix.

Michael Schumacher, who still holds the record of 91 grand prix wins, won five of his titles with Ferrari in a golden period from 2000 to 2004.

He last raced for the team in 2006 before a comeback with Mercedes from 2010-12 and has not been seen in public since he suffered severe head injuries in a skiing accident in the French Alps in December 2013.

Mick Schumacher, who joined the Ferrari academy in January, was the only debutant on the track in a rain-hit session that followed Sunday’s second grand prix of the season.








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