Mick Schumacher’s road to Formula 1

It’s not just the chiseled chin and intense focus that reminds us of someone we once knew. Mick Schumacher is also one of motor sport’s most promising talents; taking-on the very best of the next generation of champions and winning in a way that will surely see him progress further towards a future place on the Formula 1 grid.

MickSchumacher,2018,06,SIL,01

The pressure of being the son of one of the world’s greatest ever sportsmen cannot be ignored, but Schumacher, still only 19, has so-far steadfastly learned to channel-away the constant and inevitable attention to his lineage and instead, allowed his race-craft to speak for itself. And now, as the newly-crowned champion of the FIA’s European Formula 3 series, he has rightly earned the points required to be awarded his Super-Licence (needed by any driver seeking to race in F1).

It’s certainly not been easy for the young German. 2018 was his 2nd season in Euro F3 and until halfway through this year, he had only managed to score three podiums from a total of 44 outings, but then came the breakthrough at Spa (in Belgium), ironically the same circuit where his father, Michael, made his F1 debut in 1991, and where he also took his maiden win a year later. Qualifying 6th for Race 3, Schumacher finally found his elbows and battled past his teammates and those that would eventually make-up the championship’s top 5 to take a much deserved victory.

The taste of success was sweet and after Spa, it seemed that destiny finally called. Scoring a further 7 wins and 4 podiums from the remaining 15 races, he hauled himself to the top of the standings and last weekend, duly took the coveted title at Hockenheim, finishing with a 57-point margin over Red Bull’s Dan Ticktum.

MickSchumacher,2018,06,SIL,02
Racing to his 2nd win of the year at Silverstone

So what now for Prema-Theodore Racing’s latest protégé? (Charles Leclerc, Lance Stroll and Esteban Ocon all being recent graduates of this noted Italian team). Amazingly, he is yet to be signed to any of the F1 teams’ junior programmes, but even without the influence of some famous family friends, the results earned this season will undoubtedly see both Ferrari and Mercedes go head-to-head in an attempt to secure him a place in Formula 2, together with a gradual build-up of development duties within their senior squads. For Schumacher, this will be the biggest test. To date, the confines of the F3 paddock have allowed him to keep the attention mostly on his achievements on-track, but pitched into F1’s global gaze, he’s going to have to once again dig-deep and remind everyone that he’s there to race and there to win, and not just to talk about his father.

Steve Hindle