(Motorsport-Total.com) – Mick Schumacher’s long-awaited Formula 1 debut was involuntarily canceled on Friday at the Nürburgring. Rainfall and excessive fog prevented driving in the first and second free practice. Not a single wheel turned, so the Formula 2 championship leader still has to be patient. Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto expects a new opportunity only in Abu Dhabi.
“That would have been a good opportunity for Mick’s debut in Formula 1”, he regrets the uneventful day in the Eifel. Schumacher and Callum Ilott had been specially prepared by Ferrari for their first use in an official free practice session with a test in Fiorano (in an older Ferrari).
Schumacher also paid a factory visit to Alfa Romeo in Hinwil, where the seat was also adjusted. But the 21-year-old still has to wait to actually take a seat in the C39. “We will of course try to do that on one of the upcoming race weekends.”
Schumacher: The weekend is still helpful
However, Binotto sees little scope for the Ferrari Juniors. “It will be very difficult.” The next Formula 1 stops will be Portugal and San Marino. Formula 1 has never raced in Portimao, so the training time will be particularly important there for the regular drivers, the team boss knows.
And in Imola, the premier class will only drive on Saturday and Sunday as planned, so there will be no opportunity there to drive with Schumacher in training. “Then comes Bahrain, where you are driving for the championship in Formula 2. Of course you have to focus on that.”
Before that, Formula 1 still drives in Turkey, but Binotto also seems to rule out a deployment there. “So the most likely option will be Abu Dhabi, and not sooner.” However, Robert Schwarzman has already been promised a cockpit in the desert.
It is therefore questionable whether Ilott and Schumacher will also get their chance. “We have to wait and see how things develop,” says the German. “Now there are a lot of routes that were not often driven. That is why the regular drivers will need their time in the car.”
Schumacher admits that he was disappointed not to be able to take his chance at the Nürburgring. “We already knew that the weather forecast didn’t look great. At this time of year it is never certain that it will be dry in the Eifel. We knew that it could be wet.”
Nevertheless, he is satisfied with the preparation for his Formula 1 debut. “We held a lot of meetings and I was able to expand my knowledge. That was very helpful.” Schumacher will spend the rest of the weekend with the former Sauber team.
“Can’t talk about internal contract content”
The junior, who was accompanied by his mother Corinna on Friday, will take part in meetings and get to know the processes that regular drivers also go through. “At the moment I’m just getting an insight into how things are going. That will definitely be very valuable to me, I’m looking forward to it.”
How much is the excitement surrounding his Formula 1 debut distracting him from his mission in Formula 2? “Of course every chance to hop into a Formula 1 car is great. After all, Formula 1 is the goal, the dream,” he explains. But the focus is still on Formula 2.
There is speculation in the paddock that he would be guaranteed a permanent place in Formula 1 if he made it into the top 3 of the junior class. But the bearer of hope does not want to hear that. “Unfortunately, I can’t talk about the content of the internal contract,” he says.
Will Ferrari decide where to drive in 2021 or is it in his own hands? “Wait and see. It’s important for me to finish as far up front in Formula 2 as possible,” he repeated. “I’m in a strong position, that’s my focus. I can’t really talk about the rest at the moment.”
Many observers nevertheless assume that Schumacher will get a chance with Ferrari customer Alfa Romeo in the coming season. The training session on Friday in the Eifel would have been good preparation, now this step has to wait a little longer. Further private tests are currently not planned.