The current Ferrari drivers expect young driver Mick Schumacher to go a long way in Formula 1, and see this weekend’s FP1 appearance at the Eifel Grand Prix as just the beginning.
Schumacher will make his Friday practice debut for Alfa Romeo ahead of a likely promotion to F1 in 2021, as he currently leads the Formula 2 championship. The son of seven-time world champion Michael, Schumacher has had a lot of attention throughout his junior career to date, but Sebastian Vettel believes the German has shown his potential and earned the right to be considered for an F1 seat.
“I think he deserves his shot this weekend,” Vettel said. “Hopefully, we see him not only tomorrow, but hopefully another Friday this year and then hopefully in a car, in a race seat next year.
“Obviously he’s having a great season, he’s leading the Formula 2 championship and as I said, I hope he can seal a seat for next year. I think he’s a great kid, I really like him and I am sure he’s going to go a long way and do well. This is probably just a kick-off for him.”
Schumacher is a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy so has had contact with the team’s race drivers, and Vettel’s team-mate Charles Leclerc believes he can approach Friday with the pressure off as his results this season speak for themselves.
“Looking at the conditions of this weekend, it’s probably not the easiest of debuts,” Leclerc said. “But speaking to him, I think every time he tried an F1 car or a new car, it was always in the rain so it won’t change much for him. It’s going to be a tricky session, but he doesn’t have to prove anything as he has proved everything he had to in F2 this season, and I am sure he will do a great job tomorrow.”
Schumacher has previously tested for both Ferrari and Alfa Romeo during an in-season test in Bahrain last year, but never during an F1 session at a race weekend.