Formula 1: What is the real goal for Mick Schumacher?

Mick Schumacher, Haas Formula 1 (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mick Schumacher, Haas Formula 1 (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) /

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto confirmed that the long-term goal for Mick Schumacher in Formula 1 is to have him competing for Ferrari like his father did.

2018 Formula 3 European champion and reigning Formula 2 champion Mick Schumacher is set to make the jump to Formula 1 in 2021 competing for Haas, which released both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen after the 2020 season.

Schumacher, who made his Formula 2 debut in 2019 and competed for Prema Racing in both 2019 and 2020, signed with the Ferrari Driver Academy just a few months before his rookie season in Formula 2.

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That immediately turned the narrative to whether or not he could follow in his father Michael’s footsteps and compete for Ferrari at the sport’s top level one day.

With him now set compete in Formula 1 throughout the upcoming season, that narrative is still fully intact.

In fact, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto is fully embracing it.

While not all drivers who get the opportunity to become members of the Ferrari Driver Academy end up competing for the Scuderia, the Ferrari Driver Academy exists for one reason.

It has nothing to do with simply getting drivers to Formula 1. It has everything to do with getting drivers to Ferrari.

Here is what team principal Mattia Binotto had to say about the matter, according to Motorsport.

"“The FDA [Ferrari Driver Academy) program is not there to develop drivers for F1, it is there to develop drivers that one day may drive a Ferrari seat, a red car. I think that when you move from F2 and you jump into the F1, the very first year cannot be directly in a red car, because that will be too much responsibility and not enough experience.“I’m really expecting him to prove how fast he is in an F1 context, both in qualifying and race. But even more than that, to prove that he is very strong in the race pace, and consistent in terms of bringing the car home in a good position in the race. Carlos [Sainz Jr.] is very good in that. Normally he is even finishing in a better position compared to the qualifying, so that is what you may expect from a driver, and what I’m expecting from Mick in the next two years.”"

Mick’s father competed for Ferrari from 1996 to 2006 and won five consecutive world championships from 2000 through 2004. He won 72 races along the way. No other driver, save for fellow seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, has won more than 53 races, period, much less with a single team.

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Ferrari signed Charles Leclerc to an extension last winter than runs through the 2024 season, and they signed Carlos Sainz Jr. to a two-year deal as the replacement for four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel beginning in the upcoming season.

So the earliest for Schumacher to jump to one of the red cars would be in 2023, and that’s if we write off Sainz, which would be silly before he ever even competes for the Italian team.

But Schumacher is signed to Haas on a multi-year deal already, meaning he will try to do what he has done in many of his past racing series: learn as much as he can and gain as much experience as possible in his rookie season, and go for the higher results in year number two.

With Haas already effectively throwing in the towel for 2021 regarding car development as they prepare for the new rules and regulations to be introduced in 2022, this fits Schumacher’s style perfectly.

If he can do that like he did in the ADAC Formula 4 Championship, the FIA Formula 3 European Championship and Formula 2, don’t be surprised to see him realize his dream and end up behind the wheel for the Maranello-based team one day.

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Schumacher is set to make his Haas Formula 1 debut this Sunday, March 28 in the Bahrain Grand Prix. ESPN is set to broadcast this race live from Bahrain International Circuit beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET.