Mick Schumacher made to wait for F1 debut, but targets ‘dream’ seat

Mick Schumacher may have to wait until the end of the 2020 season to make his Formula 1 practice bow after the adverse Eifel GP weather scrapped his Friday debut – but he believes his F2 title bid will be more crucial to securing a “dream” place on the full-time grid next year.

Schumacher, along with fellow Ferrari junior and F2 front-runner Callum Ilott, was due to make his first appearance on an F1 weekend in Practice One at the Nurburgring, but the session was cancelled because of heavy rain and fog.

  • F1’s wet & foggy Friday: No practice at Eifel GP

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto said he is keen to rearrange their debuts but admitted it will be “very difficult” to do so before the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP due to new F1 circuits and the F2 finale in Bahrain.

“Mick and Callum, it’s obviously a shame for them,” he told Sky F1. “It would have been a great opportunity here, to make their debuts in F1. We will try to rearrange in the next races but it will be very difficult.

“The next one, Portimao, is a new circuit for everybody so I think our top drivers will need some practice as well. Then we’ve got Imola which is only Saturday and Sunday and then Turkey again, a new circuit. Then Bahrain they have the F2 races and for the championship they need to be focused.

“Very likely the next opportunity now will be Abu Dhabi and not earlier. Obviously that’s a missed opportunity, but we have no choice.”

Schumacher, the son of F1’s seven-time champion Michael, would have been cheered on by a hefty home crowd had he got on track in the Alfa Romeo.

“Obviously I would have loved to get out and drive,” said the German, 21. “Nevertheless it’s great to be here and get the opportunity to speak with the team, go to the meetings, work with the mechanics and the engineers, and also see the fans. I’m also very sorry for the fans that they don’t get to see us drive, but safety comes first.

“I managed to get as much experience as I can this weekend, and that’s great for me. It’s great for me to get the knowledge, to understand the philosophy of an F1 team at a weekend.”

Schumacher on his F1 ‘dream’

Schumacher is considered a leading contender for the Alfa Romeo full-time next season, most likely alongside Kimi Raikkonen and particularly if he converts his title lead into the F2 championship.

There are four races to go in the season – all taking place in Bahrain – and Schumacher currently leads closest rival Ilott by 22 points.

“My goal has always been F1 and it is still, that’s where my dreams are,” said Schumacher. “For me now, the focus on the F2 season, try and finish this on a high and obviously what the future holds depends on how the few races go, and obviously how the F1 teams evaluate my season so far.

“Probably discussions [about 2021] will be happening, but my focus is also on the F2 season and then my dream is still F1.”

Asked about Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton’s complimentary comments about him prior to his scheduled Friday debut, Schumacher added: “It means a lot, definitely. Both of them are very experienced and have done everything in the sport basically right, because they’re multiple world champions.

“Hearing them say this about me is also very nice.”

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