Many people would be hamstrung by the burden of carrying the most famous surname in motor racing. But not Mick Schumacher.
It’s looking increasingly likely that the 21-year-old will make his full F1 debut in 2021, with both Alfa Romeo and Haas rumoured to be keen on snapping up the progeny of the seven-time world champion.
Mick Schumacher presenting Lewis Hamilton with one of his dad’s race helmets to commemorate his 91st win ❤️ pic.twitter.com/TuTifm18ph
— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) October 11, 2020
Leading the way in the F2 Championship, Schumacher is hotly tipped to go make the step up to Formula One sooner rather than later, and the links to the two teams mentioned should come as no surprise – both boast a close working relationship with Ferrari, with whom Mick is affiliated as part of their academy programme.
The ascension of Schumacher to knocking on the door of an F1 start is exactly why Ferrari started their academy, and already the scheme’s flagbearer – Charles Leclerc – has confirmed his position as one of the most exciting talents around with the Scuderia, despite a tough 2020 campaign.
Ultimately, Schumacher’s goal will be to emulate his father in the famous red, but for now he may have to temper those ambitions as he looks to climb the first rung of the sport’s ladder.
Sadly for all F1 fans, their hopes of seeing Mick’s debut in a Formula One car were dashed when ill weather saw Free Practice 1 at the Eifel Grand Prix cancelled, and now Ferrari’s sporting director Laurent Mekies has speculated that Schumacher and F2 Championship rival Callum Ilott won’t get an FP1 runout until Abu Dhabi in December, according to Formula1.com. “If you look at the calendar, there is no chance before Abu Dhabi,” Mekies said, before confirming that the Portuguese Grand Prix at the end of October will not be considered. “I don’t think [Portimao is an option].”
There are barely eight weeks of the 2020 campaign remaining, and so thoughts are already turning to next season. But who will Schumacher be racing for?
High Speed Tug of War
Given their close affiliation and the desire of Ferrari to keep Schumacher close, a move to Alfa Romeo or Haas seems almost a certainty.
At the former, Antonio Giovinazzi is highly thought of and finally got into the points for the first time this term at the Eifel Grand Prix, and while he is considered something of a long-term project there is little room for sentimentality in F1. Such is the fall from grace of Alfa Romeo, Giovinazzi and his teammate Kimi Raikkonen are priced at 3000/1 to win the Portuguese Grand Prix, and anyone that knows, or is learning the basics of betting through sites such as howtobet.com, will be aware that makes it a near impossibility that the duo will even challenge for a podium finish. You don’t need to read comprehensive betting guides to know that…
— Motorsport.com (@Motorsport) October 8, 2020
The future of Raikkonen remains unknown, and it was speculated that the Finn wouldn’t sign a new contract at the end of the season as he has been unable to make much of an impact this season – albeit in a poor car – as he currently sits in 17th in the standings with a measly two points. But Red Bull chief Dr Helmut Marko dropped a bombshell in October, per Sportsmole, when he claimed that “…I gather that Mick Schumacher will drive together with Kimi Raikkonen for Alfa Romeo next year.” As to the reliability of that statement, only time will tell…
The Swiss firm may face competition from Haas, however, with Guenther Steiner – the team’s principal – cryptically remarking that ‘everybody who is on the market will be considered’ when discussing the firm’s driver plans for 2021.
Kevin Magnusson and Romain Grosjean continue to struggle in an admittedly underperforming car, and it’s possible that Steiner and co. will look to freshen things up for the new campaign.
One name not in the frame is Ilott, who Steiner has confirmed is not under consideration for a drive. Will that open the door for a concerted effort to snap up Schumacher?