The Schumacher name returns to Maranello, the headlines exploded well beyond the little world of Formula 1, it went global with just about every news source – from CNN to our garage band setup – trumpeting the news of the second coming of Schumi as Mick Schumacher was confirmed as a Ferrari driver.
It was big sports news and, let’s face it, you could not script such an incredible tale. In a nutshell:
Out of sight and apparently, wheel-chair bound, the most successful Formula 1 driver of all time – Michael Schumacher – has a son called Mick.
Mick grows up to be much like his Dad – these days even the resemblance remarkable – and keen on motor racing. His father was by his side during the kid’s karting days until a freak skiing accident changed all that.
Young Mick’s racing career continues pretty much under the radar, however, last year an impressive second half of the European Formula 3 season led to the title and since then his shares have been soaring. The Schumacher ‘brand’ was back!
No surprise then that Ferrari stepped up with a deal which the 19-year-old’s minders, including his savvy and well-respected mother Corinna Schumacher, see it as a logical step for Mick to reboot the Schumacher legacy. And that’s where we are right now.
This is what the teenager had to say of his commitment to Red, “I am thrilled that Ferrari has entered a partnership with me and my next future in motorsport will A in red, being part of the Ferrari Driver Academy and also of the Scuderia Ferrari Family.”
“Again, this is another step forward in the right direction, and I can only profit from the immense amount of expertise bundled there. Be sure I will make everything to extract whatever helps me achieve my dream, racing in Formula 1.”
“It is more than obvious that Ferrari has a big place in my heart since I was born and also in the hearts of our family, so I am delighted on a personal level about this opportunity as well.”
“At this stage, it is however also time to say thank you to my family, friends and partners who supported me all along and helped me arrive at this point.”
That side of the story alone is the stuff of folklore… but it gets better as thrown into the mix is Sebastian Vettel, a driver we all know, considers Michael his mentor. Not too long ago the two raced one another when the latter made his comeback with Mercedes.
They were close throughout that period, a relationship that endured after Michael departed F1 and no doubt is still ongoing, but these days that’s all behind closed doors and alas a very sad tale for another time.
Mick’s promotion is the opposite, packed with promise and potential, and the fact that he and Seb are teamed together at the Race of Champions (ROC) Mexico had me pinching myself as I contemplated the back to the future moment.
Watching the stream and social media clips of Seb and Mick competing under the German flag at the ROC, when not long ago it was Michael and Seb doing the same thing, added a surreal sense of deja vu to the event.
Looking ahead, we have Seb and Mick, the current and (possibly) the future of Ferrari, with the 31-year-old facing a season which may be the watershed of his career, while the 19-year-old is likely to get his toes wet with a F1 test or two this season as he embarks on a Formula 2 campaign.
If this was Netflix series no one would believe it and good news for F1 fans is that there are many seasons, with countless episodes and subplots, yet to play out in this saga.
When, not if, Mick steps up to F1 it will be blockbuster stuff as Schumi III (we should not forget six-time grand prix winner Ralf) hits the screens in the not too distant future. For now, we will have to be content on watching him get there, while keeping an eye on how Seb manages in this new era for Ferrari
Like all previous seasons of this remarkable tale, the future episodes are impossible to script but will no doubt not disappoint.
Big Question: Does anyone else find Mick’s resemblance to his father – looks, gestures, mannerisms and the way he speaks – uncanny?