Robert Shwartzman says F2 team-mate and fellow Ferrari Academy member Mick Schumacher is like “any other driver” in his eyes.
The 2020 Formula 2 season is proving to be a classic, and with three rounds remaining Shwartzman and Schumacher join the likes of Callum Ilott, Christian Lundgaard, Nikita Mazepin, Yuki Tsunoda and Louis Deletraz as the drivers who all still have a realistic chance of taking the title.
Of course the name out of that group which gets the most attention is Schumacher. As the son of seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher, Mick arguably has the clearest route into F1, but also by far the most pressure on his shoulders of any driver going for the F2 title.
But for Shwartzman the fact he is racing against a Schumacher isn’t really a factor to him, instead Mick is just another rival as they compete to earn a drive in Formula 1.
Asked by Auto Bild how he feels to be Schumacher’s Prema team-mate, Shwartzman replied: “Relaxed. We have known each other since 2018, we have already raced against each other in Formula 3. For me he is a completely normal team-mate. I don’t have to explain the meaning of his name to you in Germany.
“It’s a rival to me like any other driver. Your own team-mate is always the first opponent. He is someone I measure myself against. It’s a big challenge because he already gained a lot of experience in his second year in Formula 2. So there is a lot I can learn from him. I see Mick as a strong driver whom I obviously want to beat in the future.
“It’s not just about us. Everyone in Formula 2 wants to make it to Formula 1. From my point of view, I just have to deliver good results and also show that I can be a team player. I’m working on that. I want to prove that I deserve a place in Formula 1. I see it this way: Whoever works the hardest and brings the results, takes the biggest step into the future.”
— Formula 2 (@FIA_F2) September 17, 2020
With the likes of Renault junior Lundgaard and Honda-backed Tsunoda also then thrown into the mix, it’s no surprise that Shwartzman can’t pick a main rival in the battle to make it to Formula 1.
“It’s really damn close this year. I can’t really single out any single names,” he said.
“You can see in the qualifying how close it is between us and how many different race winners we have this year. So there is no biggest opponent, everyone is my opponent on the track.”