Schumacher: It’s not my name driving me

Michelle Foster
Mick Schumacher Haas

Mick Schumacher dreams of making his mark in Formula 1 as his father, Michael, did but says first and foremost he wants to “enjoy” himself.

Nine years after Michael Schumacher retired from Formula 1, a seven-time World Champion with 91 grands prix wins, the Schumacher name is returning to the sport in 2021.

Haas have signed 2020 Formula 2 champion Mick Schumacher as one half of their all-rookie line up.

The 21-year-old, who is part of the Ferrari’s junior academy, steps up to the big league with the spotlight shinning brightly on him.

Carry the heavy weight of expectation, Schumacher actually started his racing career by competing under his mother’s maiden name, Betsch.

Now set to make his F1 debut 30 years after his father made his, Schumacher says he’s doing this for his love of the sport.

“At the end I’m the one driving the car, it’s not my name driving me,” he told BBC Sport.

“So obviously the name does open a lot of doors, a lot of contacts but none of those people are racing for me.

“I’m doing this because I want to do this, because I love the sport, the adrenaline of driving fast, of coming out on top at the end.

“I don’t have any problem with being compared because I know why I’m doing it.

“I want to go far in this sport, I want to put my footsteps same as my dad wanted to.”

Get your hands on the official Haas 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store

Like all the drivers, he’s dreaming of one day following in his father’s footsteps and winning a World title – or seven.

He, however, acknowledges that is the dream and not often the reality.

“I’m sure nobody goes into this sport saying I’m going to win everything and I’m going to be a seven-time World Champion,” he continued.

“It’s something you cannot say, it is obviously a dream, something you want to achieve but you can’t say this is what will happen because you know there are so many things in this sport that can happen that you have to be ready for.

“To be honest I’m just grateful to be in it and to be able to set my first foot marks, do my first races and see where the path leads me.

“If it does happen to be a very successful one, I’ll be over the moon.

“And if it doesn’t, I still managed to get into F1 and do what I enjoy the most.”

Schumacher is in testing for Haas at the Abu Dhabi young driver test and will return to the cockpit next year for pre-season testing.

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page.