Mick Schumacher, Haas, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021

Mick Schumacher

As the son of Michael Schumacher, Formula 1’s most successful driver of all time, Mick Schumacher was always going to face immense public attention when he made his first steps into motor racing.

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Realising the pressure it would heap on the young racer, his family initially entered him for events using the surname Betsch, the maiden name of his mother Corinna Schumacher, before later dubbing him ‘Mick Junior’ as he moved up the ranks.

Born in 1999, at which point his father had won two of his eventual seven world championships, Mick Schumacher moved out of karts and into car racing in 2015 when he made his debut in German Formula 4. After a respectable but not outstanding rookie season, he placed second in both the German and Italian F4 series.

That prompted a move up into what was then called European F3. Schumacher consciously avoided promoting himself via his family name and was able to avoid massive press scrutiny during his first year in F3, finishing 12th. However, winning the title in his second year – via a fraught battle with Dan Ticktum – showed his achievements in his own right.

Schumacher moved up to Formula 2 in 2019 and the same year was signed to the Ferrari Driver Academy. he had his first Formula 1 test outing during the Bahrain in-season test, for the Scuderia and customer team Alfa Romeo. He posted encouraging times, coming second to Max Verstappen, despite being the lone rookie in the test.

Mick Schumacher, Prema, Formula 2, Sochi, 2020
Schumacher won at Monza and Sochi during 2020
He took his first Formula 2 victory during the sprint race in Hungary that year. He took pole position through the partial reverse grid, having finished eighth in Sunday’s feature race, and controlled the race to take a comfortable win. He ended the year 12th in the championship overall.

Ferrari intended to give Schumacher his first run in an official F1 practice session with customer team Alfa Romeo at the Nurburgring in 2020. However poor weather conditions forced the session, and Schumacher’s first run, to be abandoned.

He continued in F2 for a second season, where he was one of five Ferrari juniors in the field. Schumacher took a few races to mount his title bid while FDA rivals new Prema team mate Robert Shwartzman and Callum Ilott forged ahead in the early races.

But much as he had in F3, Schumacher came good in the second half of the season. He strung together an impressive run of podiums and added feature race wins at Monza and Sochi. That put him in the lead of the championship on 191 points, 22 more than second-placed Ilott, with four races in Bahrain to go.

Ilott put up a strong fight over the final weekends, and the title fight went down to the final race.
A tense finale saw both drivers slip out of the points-scoring positions as their tyres went off, and Schumacher clinched the title by 14 points.

He went into the weekend secure in the knowledge he would be a Formula 1 driver in 2021, having signed to make his debut at Haas alongside fellow rookie Nikita Mazepin.

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