German teenager is thrilled to join the Ferrari Driver Academy
Mick Schumacher has taken a step closer to achieving his dream of racing in Formula 1 after signing a deal with the Ferrari Driver Academy.
The 19-year-old, son of seven-time F1 world champion Michael, will race in Formula 2 this year but also take part in pre-season preparation activities with the Ferrari academy.
Scuderia Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto called the German a “talent” and praised the youngster’s qualities.
Binotto said: “For someone like me who has known him from birth, there’s no doubt that welcoming Mick into Ferrari has a special emotional meaning, but we have chosen him for his talent and the human and professional qualities that have already distinguished him despite his young age.”
In a statement, Schumacher said: “I am thrilled that Ferrari has entered a partnership with me and my next future in motorsport will be in red, being part of the Ferrari Driver Academy and also of the Scuderia Ferrari family.
“Again, this is another step forward in the right direction, and I can only profit from the immense amount of expertise bundled there. Be sure I will make everything to extract whatever helps me achieve my dream, racing in Formula 1.
“It is more than obvious that Ferrari has a big place in my heart since I was born and also in the hearts of our family, so I am delighted on a personal level about this opportunity as well.
“At this stage it is however also time to say thank you to my family, friends and partners who supported me all along and helped me arrive at this point.”
‘Give him time’
With his father Michael having won five of his titles wearing the red overalls of Ferrari, there will be pressure on the teenager to impress.
Ferrari’s other famous German driver, Sebastian Vettel, believes Schumacher junior has the potential to make the grade in F1 one day. However, Sky Sports reports that Vettel has urged fans to be patient.
When asked if the teenager can become an F1 star, the 31-year-old said: “I think so. Give him time, he’s under enough pressure as it is. Just let him do his thing, give him time and then we’ll see what happens.”
On Schumacher’s future with Ferrari, Vettel added: “It’s great for him. I hope he stays with us for a long time and one day he can drive with me. Or maybe I can hand over the steering wheel to him when I stop one day.”