Mick Schumacher insists his upcoming tests for Ferrari and Alfa Romeo will not distract him from his debut in Formula 2 at this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
The son of seven-time world champion Michael, Schumacher received a huge amount of attention during a pre-season press briefing in the F2 paddock in Bahrain. The 20-year-old says he is focusing completely on the start of the new F2 season despite getting his first official tests in an F1 car on Tuesday and Wednesday, when he will follow in his father’s footsteps driving for Ferrari.
“I guess that’s something I’ll focus on as soon as it’s time for it,” Schumacher said. “I don’t really focus on that at the moment. For me really it’s important to start the season in F2, and then move on afterwards.
“For sure, there’s going to be emotions after F2. I’m really happy that we’re starting the F2 season now.
“I think the goal for me really is to learn as much as possible, to gather as much experience, and then to deliver the best potential and the best performance.”
Schumacher dominated the second half of the European Formula 3 Championship last season and had a solid pre-season with Prema, putting his upturn in form down to gaining in experience.
“I guess the personal development is that obviously I’m getting older — I’m getting more used to this. I think obviously working with a lot of people helped me to develop and helped me to grow older, and just better and mature.
“Using the experience that I had and the experience that I’ve got from the races, to use that in a good way, I think that was something I managed and was able to keep it through. On that path and that period, I also had the feeling that I grew a lot as a person and really matured.”
Huge interest naturally surrounds Schumacher’s career given his father’s achievements, and he admits it is not always a simple pressure to deal with but one he is happy to carry.
“That’s a difficult question. Obviously it’s part of me. I’m the son of my dad, and I’m happy that I am. What he did was the best ever in F1, so that’s something I look up to, and I’m happy to have him as my dad.
“It’s always been part of me. I guess I always had the time and the chance to grow into that. I had a lot of people behind me that helped me on the path.”