Nico Hulkenberg feels it is only “a matter of time” before Mick Schumacher joins Formula 1 and is looking forward to the prospect of racing him.
The son of the seven-time World Champion – August 25 marking the 29th anniversary since Michael Schumacher made his Formula 1 debut at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix with Jordan – has been making his way up the junior ranks and is currently in his second season with Prema Racing in F2.
The 21-year-old, who is part of the Ferrari Drivers’ Academy, has bagged four podium finishes so far in the revised 2020 calendar and sits P5 in the World Championship standings with 79 points.
And an impressed Hulkenberg, who is also searching for a way into Formula 1 again, thinks it is now a case of when rather than if Mick Schumacher makes the step up to the pinnacle of motorsport.
“It is only a matter of time before Mick will appear in Formula 1,” Hulkenberg said on the AvD Motorsport Magazine show.
“I’ve already been on the track with Michael and I’d like to race with Mick as well.”
Keeping a watchful eye on Mick Schumacher is Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto and it appears he does have him earmarked for a move up to one of the smaller F1 teams.
“He’s doing very well in Formula 2 this season,” Binotto is quoted by Bild.
“His task was to improve and make progress. That is what he does. What we are going to do with him next year, we will soon discuss with him.
“I think the logical next step would be to start with a smaller Formula 1 team where he can get to know everything. Then he can slowly move on.”
Given Ferrari’s connections with Alfa Romeo and Haas, those will be the two most realistic options for Schumacher if 2021 is the year he makes his Formula 1 debut.
Those two teams may also be of interest to Hulkenberg, who wants a full-time seat back in Formula 1 and not a reserve driver role.
“I personally do not see myself in the role of reserve driver,” Hulkenberg said.
“I sat in a race cockpit for ten years and stood at the start lights, so accepting a step backwards without much chance of getting back in makes little sense to me. That’s not the path I want to take.”