Mick's chip off the Schumacher block

German makes strides in following famous father's footsteps after first F2 grand prix win

BUDAPEST • Mick Schumacher has often spoken of how his father, Michael, remains his greatest inspiration as he attempts to emulate the career of the seven-time Formula One world champion.

On Sunday, he took another step towards achieving his goal of driving in F1 after taking his first career win in Formula Two at the Hungaroring following a tense race with Japan's Nobuharu Matsushita.

With four career race wins, Hungary was one of Michael's favourite tracks, and Mick was hugely pleased to have made his mark in Hungary, where his dad last won in 2004, calling it "very special".

After the Schumacher name appeared on a podium in a major race for the first time since 2012's European Grand Prix, when the Ferrari great finished third, he told Sky Sports his family members were present to celebrate.

Mick said: "My mother... is actually here; Mum, my sister and her boyfriend and my grandma as well.

"I'm very happy they are here and I've got support. Also thinking back to last year when I won for the first time in Spa, where my Dad was also very comfortable. An amazing race. The car was great, thank you to the team for delivering a car like this.

"Credit to Nobuharu who kept me entertained, it was not easy, but just really happy."

The 20-year-old started from pole in the 29-lap reverse-grid sprint race, and he led from the off to take the flag with a 1.4-second advantage, despite a strong challenge from Matsushita.


Prema Racing's Mick Schumacher celebrating on the podium after winning the Formula Two Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

But while Mick, who is also a member of the Ferrari driver academy, is highly rated by his Prema team, he seems likely to spend at least another season in F2. In Formula Three, he spent one season making the step up before dominating as he won the title last year.

"Having the first victory in F2 is a great thing," Mick, who is 11th in the championship standings in his debut year and had not finished higher than fourth before Hungary, said: "I need to work a lot on myself. Whether I go to F1 next year or two years or maybe three, I don't know.

"Once you get that win in, it gives you more confidence to go into the next round. We had a lot of pressure... we had some strong performances but not enough points.

"I will do my best possible, try to learn as much as possible so that when I make the step, I will be ready and able to feel comfortable."

Schumacher Sr is still recovering from the skiing accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury in 2013, and has not been seen in public since.

REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 06, 2019, with the headline 'Mick's chip off the Schumacher block'. Print Edition | Subscribe