SAKHIR (AFP) - Mick Schumacher, the son of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, says his childhood dream has come true following Wednesday's (Dec 2) announcement he will drive in Formula One for the first time with Haas next season.
"It's incredible and it definitely hasn't sunk in yet," the 21-year-old said in a press conference.
"I'm happy it's been decided - I have been chasing this dream since I was three years old." Schumacher junior will partner Russian driver Nikita Mazepin, another Formula One debutant, in the Haas lineup.
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner welcomed his new drivers, tweeting: "Super excited about having two rookies in our team for next year! Welcome, Mick!"
They replace Haas' current driver pairing of Romain Grosjean - who escaped a fiery crash in Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix - and Kevin Magnussen.
Haas will be counting on their 2021 pairing to prove their mettle on the track after Grosjean and Magnussen's frugal haul of just three points between them this campaign with two races to go.
Schumacher has shone in Formula Two this season and leads the standings by 14 points after achieving 10 podium finishes and feature-race victories at Monza and Sochi.
He will get a taste of what is in at the elite level when he takes part in Haas' free practice ahead of the 2020 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on December 11 before taking part in testing a few days later.
Confirming the news 24 hours after Mazepin's appointment, Haas announced that they had signed Schumacher "in a multi-year agreement".
"This is definitely a new challenge," Schumacher added.
"I look forward to finding out what it's like - how to improve and develop a car from the beginning to the end of the year."
The German said he was prepared for the huge media attention as he prepares to follow in his illustrious father's footsteps.
"I've been in the limelight since my childhood, especially because I chose this sport, but so far I have come to terms with it. The results speak for themselves," he added.
"This attention has always been normal for me. The important thing is to have people who tell you the truth, who keep you grounded and help you along the way.
"And I'm lucky to have people like that around me."
Steiner said the Formula 2 championship had long served as a proving ground for talent to showcase their credentials.
He added: "Mick has won races, collected podiums and excelled against some pretty exceptional talent in 2020.
"I firmly believe he's earned the opportunity to graduate into Formula 1 based on his performances.
"We are putting in place our building blocks for the continued long-term growth of the team and I look forward to Mick's contributions both on and off the track in that process."
The Schumacher family fiercely protect the privacy of both Mick and his stricken father.
Michael Schumacher has not been seen in public since suffering a serious head injury in a skiing accident in December 2013.
His wife Corinna, Mick's mother, issued a rare statement on the Formula One legend's 50th birthday in January 2019, saying the family were doing "everything humanly possible" to help her husband.
Schumacher paid tribute to his parents, saying: "I owe them everything."
British driver Lewis Hamilton this year won his seventh Formula One world title to equal Michael Schumacher's all-time record.