Schumacher Is Back
In case you hadn’t heard, the name Schumacher is back in Formula 1. No, not the seven-time champion but his son, Mick Schumacher, joins Haas. How many father/son F1 duos can you name? There are quite a few!
Ferrari has been grooming Mick to enter F1 for a few years now. Having been with the Ferrari Driver Academy, he raced with the Ferrari-aligned Prema Powerteam in both ADAC Formula 4, Formula 3, and Formula 2. In fact, Prema currently races five of the nine Ferrari Driver Academy junior drivers.
For 2021, Mick will drive with the Ferrari-aligned Haas F1 team. Rumor had it they considered placing him with Alfa Romeo (also Ferrari-aligned), however Antonio Giovinazzi performed well in the last half of the 2020 season and kept his seat. Instead, Haas have parted ways with both of their prior drivers and Mick is filling one of those seats
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Mick Schumacher, Haas, and Ferrari were trading in on his famous surname. However, he won the Formula 2 championship in 2020 and, while he didn’t waltz his way to the victory, he battled it out to the final race weekend in order to pull it off, showing that he has the mental fortitude required of a top-level driver.
That being said, it seems to take Mick a hot minute to settle into a car and really learn it. Admittedly, he didn’t light up the lower series he took part in, however did well enough to advance.
For instance, in 2019 he came only 12th in the Formula 2 standings. Last season, however, settled into the car and his team he finished with 2 wins and 5 podiums - enough to take the F2 title.
In my mind, anyone who finishes well in Formula 2 absolutely deserves a shot in Formula 1. However, sometimes the luck breaks against you, given how ultra-competitive racing is. If you’re not moving up, you’re often moving out. There happened to be a decent number of available seats that came available in F1 for 2021 so we’re seeing 3 drivers graduate from F2 including Mick Schumacher to Haas.
Unfortunately, I don’t have high hopes for Schumacher’s initial run in Formula 1. I believe he’s in the right mindset as he’s said he does not have particular expectations upon his entry. He wants to focus on developing his skill and being a consistent performer. Unfortunately, I believe the Haas to be a poor car to show off consistency. If there’s anything consistent about Haas’ outings, it’s that they’re massively inconsistent. They have suffered from brake issues since they entered F1, engine reliability is an ever-present problem, and they have had car retirements that were down to wheel nuts not being properly secured on more occasions than I care to count.
My gut says after one Mick Schumacher-Haas season, Ferrari will plead with Kimi Räikkönen to finally hang it up, and Mick will go up the grid to the Alfa Romeo. That would align with the massive regulation changes for 2022, and hopefully Ferrari can produce an engine that is not at a massive disadvantage to the front runners.
All that being said, I get chills down my neck thinking about the name Schumacher back in Formula 1. Let’s hope it’s a good ride.
About the Author:
Jared Nichols has been a Formula 1 fan for a decade and a car nut his entire life. He is the host of the F1 Explained podcast, where he and special guests make Formula 1 accessible to all. Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.