Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto expects Mick Schumacher to have a tough Formula 1 debut with the Haas team next year before getting more up to speed in 2022.
Schumacher, the son of Ferrari great and seven times F1 world champion Michael, won the Formula Two title this year and has graduated to the U.S.-owned team with close ties to Maranello.
Haas scored only three points this season and ended up ninth of the 10 teams.
“I think it will be very difficult for him at the start,” Binotto told reporters in a video conference when asked what he expected from the 21-year-old Ferrari Academy driver.
“If I look at his past experience in both F2 and F3, normally he is delivering his best in the second season and not the first.
“I think Mick, the way he has developed himself, is learning a lot on the first season and becomes very strong in the second half of the second season. That´s why I think two seasons will be important for him.
“But already on the second I´m expecting to see progress compared to the first one.”
Ferrari have held open the possibility of Schumacher one day racing for them but they have Charles Leclerc on a long-term contract while Carlos Sainz has signed an initial two-year deal that could be extended.
They also have close ties with Swiss-based Alfa Romeo, who could also be a future destination for Schumacher after Haas, depending on progress.
Binotto said he wanted to see Schumacher getting progressively faster.
“I´m really expecting him to prove how fast he is in an F1 context, both qualifying and the race…to prove that he is very strong in race pace and consistent in terms of bringing the car home in a good position,” he said.
Ferrari have strengthened their ties with Haas ahead of next season, with their chassis engineering head Simone Resta transferring across.
Binotto said more Ferrari personnel would follow Resta out as the team is forced to shed staff to meet the terms of a budget cap being introduced next year.
“A few other technicians will move, reducing our organisation which is required for the budget cap but strengthening the organisation of our customers and partner teams,” he said.
Those transferred to Haas would remain at Maranello but working out of a completely separate facility with no access to the main Ferrari building, Binotto added.