Schumacher’s son to get taste of life in fast lane

Schumacher’s son to get taste of life in fast lane

PARIS • Mick Schumacher will take part in first Friday practice with Alfa Romeo at the Nurburgring next week as Ferrari seek to give their three leading junior drivers Formula One race weekend experience.

Britain’s Callum Ilott will take part in the same session with the Ferrari-powered Haas team, while Russian Robert Shwartzman will get his chance on the final Friday of the season in Abu Dhabi with Haas or Alfa.

Schumacher, son of Ferrari great and seven-time world champion Michael, is leading the Formula Two standings ahead of the Eifel Grand Prix weekend at the German circuit.

“The fact that my first participation in a Formula One weekend will take place in front of my home audience at the Nurburgring makes this moment even more special,” said Schumacher, 21.

“I am overjoyed to get this chance. I’m going to prepare myself well, so that I can do the best possible job for the team and gain some valuable data for the weekend.”

Ferrari-powered Alfa Romeo and Haas both have potential vacancies for 2021. According to The Guardian, neither team have concluded a new contract with any of their drivers for next year and at least one of the Ferrari junior drivers can be expected to take one of the four seats available.

Alfa Romeo will reportedly announce their line-up for next season after the Oct 9 Grand Prix and are thought to be keen on promoting Schumacher from F2 to F1.

All three Ferrari academy drivers will also test a 2018 Ferrari SF71H at the Italian team’s Fiorano track on Wednesday in preparation for their F1 practice debuts, having already had seat fittings.

Schumacher and Ilott have driven F1 cars before in test sessions, while Schumacher also drove his father’s 2004 Ferrari around the Mugello circuit this month at a Tuscan Grand Prix celebrating the Italian team’s 1,000th F1 race.

“We wanted to organise this test session so that our three best youngsters would be as well prepared as possible,” said Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies.

“We believe strongly in our academy, which has already proved its value with Charles Leclerc a driver on which the Scuderia can build its long-term future.”

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS