Mick Schumacher is spending a great deal of time in red these days; earlier this earlier month, at Mugello, to drive his father’s legendary Ferrari F2004 he donned the Red iconic race suit and next Friday he will be wearing it again too.
But before then, on Wednesday, he tested the Ferrari SF71H at Fiorano. The Ferrari Driver Academy named Mick among a trio of their drivers to do FP1 sessions, long with Callum Ilott at Nurburgring next time out, and Robert Schwartzman having his turn at the season finale Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December.
At the end of the day, the team reported that “at 15:00 Mick began his stint on-track and completed his programme, aimed at familiarising himself with a Formula 1 car, after so many races in the junior category over the past few months.”
The 21-year-old has been with the FDA since 2019 and this was not his first time at the wheel of a Ferrari. In 2019, he tested that year’s SF90 in Bahrain, also having a drive in the Alfa Romeo C38 at the same test.
After his turn in the car, at Ferrari’s test track which his father pounded relentlessly during his 11-years with the Italian team, Mick said in the team report, “I would like to thank Ferrari and the FDA for giving me the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a hybrid-powered Formula 1 car, a few days before my debut at a Grand Prix weekend at the Nürburgring.
“It was very useful to get used to all the procedures again, which are pretty complex and also with how a team works in this top level of the sport.
“A few weeks ago in Mugello, I was able to drive an F2004, an amazing car, but quite old fashioned now. Getting behind the wheel of a 2018 hybrid car allowed me to understand how important the electronics are for the Power Unit and how much progress Formula 1 has made in terms of aerodynamics.
“I can’t wait to jump into the cockpit in Germany and it will be nice to take part in a practice session for the first time in front of my home crowd. In the team, there are some mechanics who worked with my father and that will make the day even more special,” added the German.
Mick leads the Formula 2 championship with four points scoring rounds remaining and will be looking to add this year’s title to the Formula 3 champion crown he bagged in 2018.
Although nothing is confirmed as yet, it will be no surprise if Mick makes his break into F1 next year with Alfa Romeo. In fact it appears to be all but a done deal
Head of FDA Technical Department, Marco Matassa summed up, “I am very pleased with how today went. I’d like to thank the Scuderia Ferrari race team for its support.
“In the middle of such a busy season, it’s no small matter to change the car configuration to suit the individual needs of all three drivers, while helping them get to grips with something as complex as a hybrid-powered Formula 1 car.
“On the technical front I’m happy with the way Mick, Callum and Robert quickly got used to the SF71H. For two of them this wasn’t their first time in a Formula 1 car, but even so it’s not easy to switch from the driving style demanded from a Formula 2 car to one best suited to Formula 1.
“The car has much more power, a significantly more sophisticated braking system and power steering that requires sensitivity and precision to use properly. However, they were all quick and immediately began running at a good pace.
“I believe the laps they did today will be very useful when Mick and Callum run on Friday at the Nürburgring,” added Matassa.
There is now a long break in the Formula 2 calendar until the two rounds scheduled for Bahrain on 28 and 29 November and 5 and 6 December.