On the 20th anniversary of his father winning his first World Championship for Ferrari, Mick Schumacher is ready for his own F1 race weekend debut.
And the 21-year-old has been wished “the best of luck” by the driver whose Alfa Romeo seat he is being tipped to take next season.
Schumacher jnr will participate in FP1 for Alfa Romeo at the Nurburgring in Germany, which marks his first appearance in a contemporary car during an F1 race weekend.
Michael Schumacher’s son has tested F1 cars and also driven his father’s 2004 World Championship-winning Ferrari on a grand prix race day, most recently at Mugello last month, while he also had a go in a 2018 model at Fiorano a couple of weeks ago.
But this marks a potential turning point in his burgeoning career. If he impresses, the current F2 championship leader and Ferrari Academy driver is likely to find himself promoted to F1 next year with the Alfa Romeo team alongside Kimi Raikkonen.
“Preparation has been going well,” said Schumacher, speaking to Sky Sports’ Martin Brundle about his impending FP1 appearance.
“Obviously the day at Fiorano helped a lot to get kind of into a rhythm of how a Formula 1 car works and also how a steering wheel works, because that’s the most technical part, and also the work with the engineers is also a lot more specified than in F2.
“I’ve not got to talk to too many people due to COVID but when you get the chance to talk to Kimi or Antonio it’s always very valuable. I was here in 2018 but it was only on the short track, so it will be interesting to go out on the proper GP track.”
On October 8 2000, Schumacher’s father won the Japanese Grand Prix to capture his third World Championship but first for Ferrari – and four more followed straight afterwards.
“I’m very proud and especially proud of my dad for achieving all of this,” said Mick. “Obviously he is the best and he will always be the best for me and I will always look up to him.”
Antonio Giovinazzi, who, if reports are correct, will make way for Schumacher in the Alfa Romeo team next season, wished his rival well and insisted he is yet to hear about what his own future may hold.
“First of all I want to wish the best of luck to him,” said the Italian. “I think the first FP1 in Formula 1 is always a date you will remember. I still remember my first time in this circus, it’s a really emotional day and you need to enjoy this day.
“For me, it’s not ideal to lose a session, but it’s like that and we need to think about FP2 and do the maximum laps there.
“I think I still need to do my job as I’m doing so far. It’s not my decision in the end, I will do my best and then we’ll see what they decide.”