Mick Schumacher is making the step up to Formula One, on the back of winning the 2020 FIA Formula 2 Championship. He beat his fellow Ferrari Academy driver Callum Ilott by only a matter of points, but it is the German driver that HAAS has decided to sign for the 2021 season.
The big draw signing Schumacher is the name. His father Michael is the joint-record holder for most Formula One World Championships, joining Lewis Hamilton on seven, and this provides a very strong marketing aspect for the team.
They will be able to make merchandise with the M. Schumacher name, and given the financial struggle HAAS are in it may just be vital for the survival of the team. One of the team’s 2020 driver’s Romain Grosjean said in a press conference that both he and Kevin Magnussen had to be let go due to financial issues.
We still don’t know for certain who will partner Schumacher next season, with Nikita Mazepin in a spot of bother, but he does have a contract for next season that so far HAAS are honouring. If it is an all-rookie line-up it may be difficult for HAAS at the start of the season while the drivers settle in.
Schumacher showed consistency throughout the 2020 F2 season, and it is wasn’t for a fire extinguisher and incidents out of his control, he might have won the title in a very convincing way. He wasn’t always starting up the front of the grid either, a lot of the time we had to see him fight his way through the pack due to the nature of the reverse grid sprint in F2.
He will be under a lot of pressure from the older F1 fans, wanting to see a Schumacher back up front and winning Championships, but Formula One isn’t a simple get into a race car and you will World Champion straight away, he needs time and won’t have a car to challenge for points every week, never mind the title.
People need to give Schumacher time to settle in before he really hits the ground running. He struggled in the early stages of the 2019 F2 Championship, but his form picked up in the latter stages and was in a very good position going into the 2020 season, and managed to win the title.
Schumacher should be a hit with F2 fans, but if he can’t perform under the pressure that will be put upon him, people might want him out if he is not doing the Schumacher name justice. It will be interesting to see how he gets on but based on his performances so far in his career, he is one to look out for in the future…potentially even a future Ferrari driver.