(Motorsport-Total.com) – Nothing came of the hoped-for Formula 1 appearance at the home game at the Nürburgring. But when could Mick Schumacher get a “catch-up date” for his work as a Friday driver at Alfa Romeo? According to Ferrari sports director Laurent Mekies, this is not yet certain. But it probably won’t happen until December 2020.
A look at the current Formula 1 calendar reveals: Realistically, the Formula 1 final in Abu Dhabi is the “only chance” for a Friday drive for Schumacher, according to Mekies.
Before that, the regular drivers would need every minute to prepare because in most cases they are going on routes on which Formula 1 had not last driven. “And then it’s off to Bahrain, where we don’t [Formel-2-] Want to disturb the title fight, “says Mekies. So you don’t want to burden the young Ferrari drivers with a double burden.
Ferrari talks with Alfa Romeo and Haas
Abu Dhabi remains. “We’re talking about that with Alfa Romeo and Haas,” said Mekies. One wants to “sound out the possibilities”, whether the Ferrari customer teams would be ready to test the Ferrari juniors as they did at the Nürburgring.
Because in addition to Schumacher, Callum Ilott should have driven at the Eifel Grand Prix. With Robert Schwarzman, a third young Ferrari driver is on hold. Ferrari wants to give them more Formula 1 driving experience as soon as possible in 2020. “We are doing our best to do that,” assured Mekies. “Whether it works or not, we have to wait and see.”
The same applies to the allocation of cockpits to the Ferrari customer teams Alfa Romeo and Haas for the Formula 1 season in 2021. Ferrari can only exert limited influence here. “The bottom line is whether the boys are fast enough,” says Mekies. “If they are, then everyone wants them. That’s how it works.”
What is still missing for the Ferrari chance
That is why the Ferrari Academy is working hard to continuously improve the form of its juniors. But until the big goal, the Ferrari cockpit, there is still a long way to go for Schumacher and Co., emphasizes Mekies.
“We have seen: You have already taken two, three, ten steps to get to your current level. But we are aware: It takes another ten of these steps to get to the [Ferrari-] Level to come. And that’s exactly what we’re about: to support them so that they can develop further. “
He recognizes the corresponding potential in Schumacher as well as Ilott and Schwarzman. “They have sheer talent and develop because they are in the right environment,” he says. “Are you on track? Right now, yes. Can you develop as desired? Time will tell.”
In the footsteps of Charles Leclerc
With Lance Stroll and Charles Leclerc, two former members of the Ferrari Academy have already made it into Formula 1. Leclerc even managed to become a Ferrari regular driver in 2019, and in the same year his first Grand Prix victory, which he immediately followed up with another, at the Ferrari home race in Monza.
In the current Formula 2 overall standings, Schumacher, Ilott and Schwarzman occupy positions one, two and five among 24 drivers.