Mick Schumacher, son of Schumacher senior. Mick’s father needs little introduction, if you need reminding, Michael Schumacher was one of the most winningest drivers in Formula One history. Schumacher senior set new benchmarks and standards. When he joined Ferrari he revived the Scuderia like no other driver before him or since. Only Lewis Hamilton is his equal. Max Verstappen? the passing of time has to unravel to see where he stands in the greater picture of F1 history.
Schumacher Jr began his career in karting in 2008 and progressed to the German ADAC Formula 4 by 2015. He won the 2018 FIA F3 European Championship, and won the 2020 Formula 2 Championship. He joined the Ferrari Driver Academy program in 2019, which landed him a seat with the Haas team in 2021.
Mick Schumacher is a very competent F1 driver, talented and skilled but lacked consistency. More Ralph Schumacher than Michael Schumacher. Formula One is a different animal compared to the the single seater racing categories that swirl below it. F1 operates at a high tempo, the budgets are bigger, the teams are bigger, the brain power is infinite and the engineering is next level.
When the expectations are bigger so are the pressures and it is up to the driver to burden the pressure upon his shoulders and deliver for the team. A few will respond, many others fail. Mick didn’t fail, he just didn’t have the shine of his father before him. The best F1 drivers will deliver straight away, Mick needed another season to find his F1 marbles.
Ferrari lost interest, and with nowhere else to go, Mercedes offered Schumacher a reserve driver role for 2023. The links with Mercedes are strong, Mick’s father drove for the F1 squad from 2010-2012. Inevitably Mick will be used as a marketing asset, after all when his father finally retired from F1 he became a brand ambassador for Mercedes.
For 23 year old Mick the F1 clock is already ticking, if he doesn’t get a seat in 2024 his Formula One career is more or less over. Nico Rosberg believes Mick’s move to reserve driver duties at Mercedes is the right move in the short term. For the long term not so. Speaking during a recent media interview Rosberg said:
“Reserve driver at Mercedes, that’s a good option to stay in F1 and keep the chances of coming back somewhere in 2024. It was great to have Mick Schumacher on the grid and interesting to follow his performances in the premier class.”
“Unfortunately, it was extremely difficult for him because he had the worst car in the field for long stretches. It’s difficult to set highlights there.”
“But Schumacher would also need a good sponsor to support him financially in his comeback to the grid. If nothing comes of it in 2024, then that would probably be the end with Formula 1.”
“You have to compare him with Kevin Magnussen. There was a lack of consistency, and Magnussen was always there in those moments when the car gave something away. Mick lacked these peaks. Unfortunately, there will now be a break in his GP career for the time being.”
“There would be enough nice options left for him: DTM, Formula E, IndyCar. These are great racing series where he could also have fun.”