Ferrari using Haas to assess Schumacher's promotion potential, says Binotto
Ferrari have placed Mick Schumacher at customer team Haas to help them assess his potential for promotion to the works Formula 1 team in the future, says the Scuderia’s boss Mattia Binotto.
Schumacher’s star continues to rise after he clinched last year’s Formula 2 title, adding to his 2018 European F3 series win. The German signed a multi-year deal with American team Haas, starting this season, and will line-up alongside Nikita Mazepin.
The 21-year-old is a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA), which has involved him immersing himself in the famous red team while also giving him the opportunity to test F1 machinery, most recently last week at Fiorano when he drove a 2018-spec SF-71H.
“Mick Schumacher will be one of the drivers for Haas (this) year, which for us is a great opportunity, showing the strength of collaboration we’ve got,” Binotto said. “Mick is part of our FDA and the FDA programme is not there to develop drivers for F1, but it’s there to develop drivers that one day may drive a Ferrari seat, a red car.
“When you move from F2 and jump into F1, the very first year cannot be a directly into a red car because that would be too much responsibility and not enough experience. So knowing that we’ve got customer teams or partners on which we may count to continue developing our drivers in F1 is an important element.”
Ferrari's driver strategy has changed recently with the famous team running their youngest line-up since 1968 with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz this season, with the duo both on multi-year deals.
Their academy is also in good health, with Schumacher joined by last year’s F2 runner up Callum Illot – who will fulfil Ferrari test driver duties this year, including driving in some FP1 sessions – and Robert Shwartzman, who is among the favourites for this year’s F2 title.
And they continue to support Antonio Giovinazzi in F1, having placed him at Alfa Romeo since 2019, meaning there are four Ferrari-backed drivers on the F1 grid.