Mick Schumacher is dreaming there will be some “crazy races” in his debut F1 season that could result in him standing on the podium.
The son of Michael Schumacher, the seven-time former World Champion, makes the step up as the reigning F2 title-holder and, as a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, has been found a place at customer team Haas.
The expectation is that Schumacher and his team-mate, fellow rookie Nikita Mazepin, will be mostly racing at the back of the pack where Haas found themselves throughout 2020, especially as the relatively static regulations are unlikely to jumble the order too much.
But with 23 races this year, and a couple of wildly unexpected results last season, the 21-year-old German is not dismissing the prospect of benefiting from some chaos.
After all, Pierre Gasly won the 2020 Italian Grand Prix from Carlos Sainz and Lance Stroll, while the latter was also part of a shock Sakhir GP podium line-up when third again behind Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.
“We have to be clear what the potential of the car is,” said Schumacher in an interview with Auto Motor und Sport. “We have to be honest with ourselves and do our job.
“The best thing would be to score points, of course. And if there are some crazy races like last year, maybe a podium will come out of it. Sure, that’s dreaming, but we are allowed to dream. Nevertheless, we have to be realistic first and foremost.”
Schumacher’s “dream” is put into perspective by the fact Haas have never finished on the podium in their five years of Formula 1, their best result being Romain Grosjean’s P4 at the 2018 Austrian Grand Prix.
He also believes his potential in the Haas should not be judged until the season is in full swing, following the curtain-raiser in Bahrain on March 28 and then the first European-based grand prix at Imola on April 18.
Asked what he is realistically expecting from the year, Schumacher said: “I’ll have to wait for the first few races to give an informed answer. Of course, I expect a lot from myself.
“I want to settle into the team very quickly so I feel very comfortable and they feel comfortable with me. If we can do that, the results will come.
“Even if it’s a ‘gap’ year for us, if the option arises, if there is a bit of luck, we will do everything we can to make use of it and bring home the results.”