Nürburg (dpa) – Mick Schumacher shook his head briefly, snatched his gloves from the hood and stole another look at the Alfa Romeo. In the cloudy gray of the Eifel, the Formula 1 training debut of the son of record world champion Michael Schumacher fell through.
The adverse weather conditions with wet, cold and fog when the top motorsport class returned to the Nürburgring caused the opening training to be canceled for safety reasons. “Of course I would have liked to drive,” said Schumacher, who, after missing the chance to make a recommendation drive, clapped some team members and left the garage. “It’s a shame not to be able to get out.”
Schumacher had been looking forward to this day, which will be followed by many more days in the motorsport premier class. Everything was prepared for goosebumps moments. Despite the corona pandemic, 15,000 Formula 1 fans were given permission to visit the Eifel. Formula 2 leader Schumacher wanted to hit the track with the number 37, the number assigned to Alfa Romeo for the reserve driver before the season. Eifel weather, however, thwarted his plans.
A requirement for a Formula 1 unit is that the rescue helicopter can fly in an emergency. If this is not the case, a hospital would again have to be reached by ambulance in no more than 20 minutes. However, this was not the case.
Schumacher now has to wait a bit for his debut. In Portimao, Portugal, he could catch up on the exit in two weeks at the earliest. “We have to wait and see how it develops,” said Schumacher only in general. After all, there would now be courses that would otherwise not be used as often.
According to RTL / ntv information, the Prema driver is supposed to get a new chance on December 11th in the opening training for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. No source was named. The Formula 1 final will take place in Abu Dhabi one week after the last Formula 2 race. “Any opportunity to jump into the car would be great,” said Mick Schumacher.
Formula 1, in which his iconic father set so many records, is what he longs for. “He’s a great boy. I like him very much,” said four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who once found a kind of mentor for his Formula 1 path in Mick’s father. “I hope he can clear a cockpit for next year.”
More news from Formula 1
Mick Schumacher did the preparatory work. The 21-year-old leads the highest junior class Formula 2. This is not a carte blanche, but a strong recommendation. In order to get in the right mood for the first free practice, which was canceled at the end, Schumacher stepped on the accelerator on the Ferrari home track in Fiorano. In a 2018 Ferrari.
“He’s a super boy,” said Kimi Raikkonen, the last Ferrari world champion in 2007, and described the junior as a “copy of his father in many ways”. Raikkonen, a friend of Vettel’s, could also become Mick Schumacher’s senior team-mate at Alfa Romeo in 2021. An exciting combination. The 40-year-old longest-serving Formula 1 driver has not yet made a final decision as to whether he will also drive next year.
Mick Schumacher already completed tests in an Alfa Romeo and a Ferrari in April 2019. In Bahrain at that time, outside of a Grand Prix weekend, only tires were tested for their suitability. A kick-off training is different. In these one and a half hours, the racing teams work on aerodynamics, the balance of the car for the weekend and the behavior of the various tire types.
Mick Schumacher should take “as much as possible” with him, learn “as much as possible” in cooperation with the engineers, recommended his manager Sabine Kehm, who had also looked after his father. Basically, it’s about working through a kind of order list that the Alfa Romeo strategists have given up. How does a young driver test himself to the limit? What feedback can he give to the command post under stress?
And that at the Nürburgring, where father Michael became the first German to win in the Eifel in 1995. “He doesn’t have to prove anything, he has already proven everything in this Formula 2 season,” said Vettel’s Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc before the first outing of the future German Formula 1 hope. But that’s not entirely true, of course, because in the premier class, where around 1000 hp and not 620 as in Formula 2 are to be tamed, you are constantly on the test bench. Especially if you want to be accepted as a regular pilot in this elite circle.
From the Ferrari junior academy alone, Mick Schumacher already has some competition in the fight for a Formula 1 cockpit for 2021. Callum Ilott was supposed to test for Haas on Friday, which, like Alfa Romeo, will be equipped with engines by Ferrari, but as is well known, nothing came of it . And then Robert Schwartzman is also considered a candidate. “That doesn’t give us any headaches,” said Ferrari Sports Director Laurent Mekies about the competition among the red youngsters, “that gives us a lot of options.” A good option is called Mick.