Mick Schumacher, the son of seven-time world champion Michael, was one of three Ferrari junior drivers to share a test day at the team’s private track Fiorano on Wednesday.
Schumacher shared a 2018 Ferrari F1 car with his Formula 2 rivals Callum Ilott and Robert Schwartzman as all three drivers prepared for their upcoming Friday practice outings at grands prix later this year.
Schumacher and Ilott will both take part in next weekend’s Eifel Grand Prix first practice at the Nurburgring for Alfa Romeo and Haas respectively, and Wednesday’s test was aimed at allowing them to get back up to speed in F1 machinery. Schwartzman will take part in an FP1 session at the season finale in Abu Dhabi later this year.
Each driver had three hours behind the wheel at the 2.976km test track, but no times or lap counts were released. Schwartzman was making his F1 test debut and went out on track first before Ilott, who tested for Alfa Romeo last year and finally, and finally Schumacher, who made his F1 test debut at Bahrain last year for Ferrari and Alfa Romeo.,
The circuit, based on the outskirts of Maranello and next to the Formula One team’s factory, has legendary status in Ferrari folklore. Michael Schumacher completed countless laps there while racing for the team and, at a time when in-season testing was unlimited in F1, would spend as many as 16 days per year driving the circuit.
For Mick Schumacher it was an opportunity to sample another Ferrari F1 car and get up to speed ahead of his Friday practice session.
“I would like to thank Ferrari and the FDA for giving me the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a hybrid-powered Formula One car, a few days before my debut at a grand prix weekend at the Nürburgring,” he said. “It was very useful to get used to all the procedures again, which are pretty complex and also with how a team works in this top level of the sport.
“A few weeks ago in Mugello, I was able to drive an F2004, an amazing car, but quite old fashioned now. Getting behind the wheel of a 2018 hybrid car allowed me to understand how important the electronics are for the Power Unit and how much progress Formula One has made in terms of aerodynamics.
“I can’t wait to jump into the cockpit in Germany and it will be nice to take part in a practice session for the first time in front of my home crowd. In the team, there are some mechanics who worked with my father and that will make the day even more special.”
“On the technical front I’m happy with the way Mick, Callum and Robert quickly got used to the SF71H,”
Marco Matassa, head of the Ferrari Driver Academy said. “For two of them this wasn’t their first time in a Formula One car, but even so it’s not easy to switch from the driving style demanded from a Formula 2 car to one best suited to Formula One.
“The car has much more power, a significantly more sophisticated braking system and power steering that requires sensitivity and precision to use properly. However, they were all quick and immediately began running at a good pace. I believe the laps they did today will be very useful when Mick and Callum run on Friday at the Nürburgring.
“On a purely emotional level, it was wonderful to see the lads in their red race suit in front of their Ferrari, posing for the group photo, especially with Robert who was having his very first drive in a Formula One car, which is an unforgettable moment for any driver.”
Schumacher currently leads the Formula 2 championship by 22 points from Ilott with one round remaining in Bahrain. Schwartzman, who is in his rookie year in the series, is currently fifth.