Schumacher name provides motivation not pressure, says Mick ahead of F1 debut
The Schumacher name will make a racing return to Formula 1 in 2021 when Mick Schumacher – son of seven-time world champion Michael – debuts with Haas. But the reigning F2 champion says rather than his famous surname heaping pressure on his shoulders, it actually serves as motivation to work harder to reach his goals.
Schumacher, a Ferrari junior driver, will race alongside F2 rival Nikita Mazepin at the American team this season, the duo fulfilling a round of media duties on Thursday as Haas revealed a fresh white, red and blue look for their livery launch.
The 21-year-old German’s debut will come nine seasons after his father retired from F1 for the second time after a stint with Mercedes, who he joined after amassing a then-record 91 wins with Benetton and Ferrari.
“I have never said that it was pressure, I don’t think I’ll ever say it,” said Schumacher of carrying the famous name. “I’m very happy to carry that surname and very happy to carry that name back into F1. I’m very proud of it, I’m happy to have it. It’s like a boost for me and it gives me motivation every single day to work as much as I can and as hard I can.”
Schumacher had to quarantine on arrival in the UK before having his seat fit earlier this month and says he is already starting to settle in to his new working environment.
“Definitely there are a few different factors, obviously for me the biggest one which I’ve done already is you want to have a very strong bond to the team, that’s what I aim for and I have, which I’m very happy about that,” he said.
“That’s one of the strengths, and being as mentally strong as we can be in every situation is really important. Then basically just starting off the season on a high and hopefully we’ll be able to carry through everything I’ve learned in my past years and perform in a high level of what we need.”
Schumacher and Mazepin will present the VF-21 for the first time in Bahrain just hours before testing begins on March 12. He will then share driving duties with his Russian team mate over the three days before preparing for his debut weekend at the same venue at the end of the month.
“I’m very excited, and I’m really looking forward to getting on track and starting my test schedule, and eventually getting into the first race in F1, which sounds great and feels great,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to my first season.”