Schumacher plays down step up to Formula 1

Date published: January 4 2021 - Jamie Woodhouse

Mick Schumacher Ferrari junior

Mick Schumacher doesn’t believe there is a “big difference” between racing in the junior categories and Formula 1.

After winning the 2020 F2 Championship, Schumacher is now preparing to make the step up to Formula 1.

A member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, Schumacher will make his debut with American outfit Haas alongside fellow F2 graduate Nikita Mazepin in an all-rookie line-up.

Formula 2 is the highest level of junior racing on the Formula 1 ladder, but once a driver reaches Formula 1, that final step can prove a huge challenge for many drivers to embrace.

However, Schumacher doesn’t actually think there is a “big difference” between junior racing and Formula 1.

“It’s great to be driving in Formula 1 and it’s great to be driving with great drivers but, to be honest, it’s not a big difference from junior racing,” he is quoted by GPFans.com.

“Obviously, every single year is a very competitive year that I have been in at the moment.

“It’s strange the first time you get into an FP1 and everybody has been driving the whole season and you’re the newcomer but I think that for sure will change next year and I will feel much more established in a position.”

Schumacher missed out on an FP1 debut at the Eifel Grand Prix due to poor weather conditions, but he take part in the Young Drivers’ Test which followed the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“Any running is good running and great preparations for me for next year,” said Schumacher.

“The FP1 [outing] was really to get that first taste and then the young driver test was really for me to work on certain things such as long runs which, obviously, are going to be very important.”

Mick driving Michael Schumacher's Ferrari F2004.

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto spoke recently about the value of their customer teams like Haas when it comes to driver development, saying they can’t throw junior drivers straight into a seat with the red team.

“I think we cannot afford to take a Formula 2 driver and put him directly in the cockpit of one of the red cars,” said Binotto, quoted by Motorsport.com’s Russian language site.

“The responsibility would be too great and in the absence of the necessary experience, it is difficult to expect strong results from a young driver.

“In this case, the presence of client teams seriously helps us out. With their help, we can provide our drivers with the opportunity to master F1 and gain experience.

“Mick’s place at Haas next year is a great opportunity to showcase the full benefits of our partnership.

“It is important to understand that our junior programme should educate Formula 1 drivers, and drivers who could one day compete for Ferrari.

“This means the guys must be 100% ready to perform at the highest level.”

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