Schumacher’s first race shall be with the American Haas staff on the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28 and he understands the eyes of the motorsport world shall be on him.
“I guess it’s mostly the expectation I have for myself,” Schumacher tells CNN’s Amanda Davies. “I’m wanting to obviously do well, but also it’s a big privilege for me to carry the surname Schumacher into Formula One again and obviously have it on my my car and be able to do my laps on track with it.”
Schumacher has been making ready for this second virtually all of his life.
From the age of two, he would race round his backyard in go-karts and by the point he was 11, Schumacher knew he wished to race professionally.
To enable his skills to flourish and keep away from any undesirable media stress, Schumacher initially raced below his mom’s maiden title — Betsch — as he rose by way of the ranks of the junior circuits in Europe.
“It gave me the possibility to basically race under the radar, if that makes sense,” he says. “So I was able to grow and do the steps that I needed with the time that I needed.
“So I may take my time, I did not have any rush, I did not have any media consideration on the time, which clearly was very constructive as a result of I may simply be a toddler and revel in racing.”
It wasn’t until Schumacher reached Formula 4 that he decided to race under his father’s surname.
By that time, the media was well aware there was another Schumacher making waves on the junior circuits so he decided it was time to embrace the name and everything that came with it.
“It was the precise time for me to get used to it,” he says. “We had been getting into Formula automobiles and it isn’t that lengthy till I used to be making the steps up within the junior classes — and clearly with each junior class that I’m going up, the media consideration was getting extra.”
The same, but different
When Michael Schumacher was at the peak of his powers with Ferrari, Mick was too young to fully grasp exactly what his father meant to so many people around the world. To him, the F1 great was just his dad.
As he grew older, however, he began to see the value in all the lessons his dad gave him. Today, Schumacher sees many of his father’s traits in his own driving style and doesn’t shy away from the comparisons.
“I suppose we’re in all probability totally different in a couple of methods, however we’re very comparable in different methods,” he explains. “It’s very attention-grabbing to see how we how we do issues on monitor. For me, after I examine myself [to him], it is rather a lot in his prime, the height of his profession when he was racing with Ferrari and having all these world championships.
“But it’s also very good for me to compare myself to him when he started in Formula One … we just have to be able to compare in both phases I’d say — compare myself to the beginning, but also compared to the end of his career.
“You at all times have to measure your self to one of the best right this moment, but in addition to one of the best prior to now and clearly my dad is one of the best and he is at all times going to be one of the best. I really feel privileged to have the option to examine myself to him and see what steps he took through the years, however [also] what totally different decisions he took and I discovered from them.”
Despite his upbringing as the son of one of the greatest drivers of all time, it wasn’t always a given that Schumacher would reach motorsport’s elite level.
In 2019, he finished his first season in Formula Two in 12th place, 213 points behind the eventual champion despite driving for the best team in the championship.
Following a frank discussion with his PREMA Racing team principle Rene Rosin, his fortunes transformed and in 2020 he was crowned F2 champion, winning the title by 14 points.
Ferrari, the team with which Michael Schumacher became synonymous, has been crucial in aiding Mick’s development as a driver. The German is part of the Italian team’s prestigious Ferrari Driver Academy, signing up in 2019, and joins a list of alumni that includes Charles Leclerc, Antonio Giovinazzi and the late Jules Bianchi.
Although his position in the sport may have looked somewhat precarious from the outside, Schumacher’s drive and work ethic meant he was always likely to succeed.
“Obviously you at all times have to have a foundation of expertise on any something you do and I really feel like by way of karting and thru racing, you simply be taught to adapt to issues in a short time,” he explains. “So I’m usually very simply studying new issues, particularly when it is one thing about sports activities.
“I guess in our sport, if you love what you do and you have a bit of talent and you are willing to work for your dream, that’s all it takes in a way to be able to then put a lot of time on track. If you are willing to to work every day, every minute on yourself and dedicate life, basically, to the sport, then most likely [you] will do well — and that’s what I’m doing.”
Such was his love of driving rising up, Schumacher admits there was “never a plan B.” While the opposite children in school dreamed of turning into astronauts or the president, his singular focus was on racing round a monitor.
In Bahrain later this month, his dream of turning into a Formula One driver like his father shall be realized.
“I guess I will be a bit nervous, but nevertheless I think I’m very much prepared,” he says. “It’s going to be very fun. I think it’s going to be a hell of a ride.”