Michael Schumacher’s son set to make Formula One debut

Mick Schumacher (21) expected to follow in father’s footsteps by competing full time in F1

Mick Schumacher. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/Reuters

Mick Schumacher. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/Reuters

 

Michael Schumacher’s son Mick will make his Formula One grand prix debut at the sport’s next round at Nürburgring.

The 21-year-old leader of the Formula Two championship, the feeder series to F1, will take part in opening practice for the Alfa Romeo team a week on Friday. His appearance will come eight years after his father bowed out of the sport.

Englishman Callum Ilott, like Schumacher a member of the Ferrari driver academy, will also be handed his maiden grand prix outing when he participates in practice for Haas.

Schumacher, who holds a 22-point lead over Ilott in the Formula Two championship, is expected to follow in his father’s footsteps by competing on a full-time basis in F1.

It is understood he could be handed a seat as early as next year, and his debut at the Nürburgring, a venue where his father won on five occasions, will strengthen his cause.

Schumacher, who will deputise for regular driver Antonio Giovinazzi, said: “I am overjoyed to get this chance in free practice.”

“The fact that my first participation in a Formula One weekend will take place in front of my home audience at the Nürburgring makes this moment even more special.

“For the next 10 days I’m going to prepare myself well, so that I can do the best possible job for the team.”

Lewis Hamilton will be bidding to match Schumacher snr’s F1 victory record in Germany after he was denied a 91st career triumph in Sochi last weekend.

Close secret

Schumacher snr’s current condition is a closely guarded secret following his skiing accident in France almost seven years ago.

Speaking in Russia, Schumacher jnr said his father told him “records are there to be broken”.

“It’s everybody’s aim in the sport to do that and Lewis has had a very, very good run.

“Obviously from the family’s position, we see it on a good side, too. It is good for the sport and Lewis has been very influential in F1.

“But the next aim would be for me, if I do make the step into Formula One, is to break that.”

Schumacher and Ilott, the 21-year-old from Cambridge, will take part in a Ferrari test at the Italian team’s Fiorano track on Wednesday in preparation for their grand prix debuts.

Ilott, a three-time winner in F2 this year, said: “It’s amazing to have this chance at a track that is one of my favourites – it was where I scored the first podium of my career back in 2015.

“It’s great that I’ll have my first outing at a Formula One race weekend there. I plan to make the most of it, and I’m definitely looking forward to it.”

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