Mick Schumacher has insisted his own love of racing is why he became a Formula 1 driver, not any pressure stemming from his father’s legacy.
The 23-year-old German’s F1 career, which is in its second season, is now firmly back on the rails after a difficult spell earlier in the campaign.
Although it was no surprise he failed to score a point in his debut year with an uncompetitive Haas car, question marks began to emerge as Schumacher extended that scoreless run to 31 races – and had only a series of crashes to show for his efforts in 2022.
There was even speculation about his future, but suddenly everything has turned around and the son of Michael Schumacher, the seven-time former World Champion, got off the mark with an eighth-place finish at the British Grand Prix and then a superb sixth in Austria.
He is now showing again why he remains a part of the Driver Academy at Ferrari, the team with whom his father enjoyed a golden era in the early years of this century.
— Mick Schumacher (@SchumacherMick) July 10, 2022
Schumacher senior’s health remains a closely-guarded subject following his serious skiing accident in 2013, Mick choosing to keep that matter private in his dealings with the F1 media.
But he did refer to his father during an interview with Channel 4 in which he stressed he is pursuing his own racing dream, rather than feeling compelled to do so as a result of his background.
Asked how he copes with his father’s legacy in F1, Schumacher replied: “I think the easiest way to answer that is to tell you why I’m here, and the reason why I’m here is because I love the sport.
“I love racing, I love ultimately also winning. For me there was never a doubt that I wanted to race in Formula 1, no matter who my dad was, but he’s so much more to me as well.
“He’s my dad and I’ve had a great upbringing and I’m able to evaluate where I need to put pressure on myself and where not.
“And I think that’s one of the things where I don’t need to put pressure on myself and that has been quite clear from day one that if I don’t want to do this I don’t have to – and I still want to do it and still want to make a name for myself as well and race well in Formula 1.”
No reason why Haas can't challenge higher up
After their remarkable turnaround from last season's displays, if Haas can improve their car, could they challenge McLaren and Alpine?