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Blessed and burdened with his last name

8bf8da816f9340fb09dba96081346db1 - Blessed and burdened with his last name

Portrait Mick Schumacher (19) comes closer to the Formula 1, where his father, legendary was. ‘The family will want to avoid Mick on his nose.’

Blessed and burdened with his last name

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Mick Schumacher broke last autumn, final in the European Formula 3. He is now brought to the junioracademie of Ferrari. Bongarts/Getty Images

Portrait Mick Schumacher (19) comes closer to the Formula 1, where his father, legendary was. ‘The family will want to avoid Mick on his nose.’

Blessed and burdened with his last name


Frank Huiskamp

AmsterdamHet was the first weekend that Frits van Amersfoort him as team boss under his wing. April 2015, the ADAC Formula 4, the circuit of Oschersleben, near Magdeburg. The day before he was platgebeld. Especially from Germany. Boulevardpers. Bild, Express. Masses of people in front of and behind the tent of his team, to catch a glimpse of Mick Schumacher, the then-16-year-old ‘son of’. “But how you look at it, or returns’, says Van Amersfoort now,” all the attention Mick is also because people in their heart want to know how Michael is.’

Mick Schumacher, now 19 years old, been driving since his kartdagen around with the heavy backpack that his last name brings with it. The hope of German race fans, the expectations as the son of the recordkampioen in Formula 1 and also the most tangible connection that they have with their folk hero, whose health is surrounded by mysticism since the end of 2013, severe brain injury suffered in a ski accident.

Mick Schumacher broke last autumn final by. He won the championship in the European Formula 3, and is now brought to the junioracademie of Ferrari, the team where his father, legendary status acquired and five of his seven world titles earned. A place in the Formula 1 is suddenly a lot closer.

He began with karting. First, as Mick Betsch, the name of his mother, and later as Mick Junior

Schumacher started in 2008 with go-karting. Not under his own name, for years not even. First, he was Mick Betsch, the last name of his mother Corinna, later Mick Junior. ‘The family of Schumacher has always tried to be herself and the children out of the public eye to keep, ” says Kees van der Grint, who as a tyre dealer of Ferrari and Michael Schumacher experienced. “But it was soon obvious who it was.’

Never the great talent

It was a ‘good rider’ in that time, recalls Van der Grint, the young Mick in his kartperiode experienced, with father Michael along the side. “But because he, Schumacher was expected people a little more of. For someone with a different name would be a second or third place a great achievement.’ Michael Schumacher was, according to Van der Grint always very realistic about his son. More relaxed than, for example, Jos Verstappen and Max. ‘At first, but try it and see. A quiet approach.’

Mick has never been the talent that his father had received From Amersfoort in the netherlands, from Germany, even before he took him under his wing got in the Van Amersfoort Racing. Michael was more a sort of Max Verstappen, Mick. ‘A Max racing from his genes, his fibres. Mick has clearly need to learn. And he also had on a given moment has no counselor to be more like Jos. I can only my pet for decline.”

Van Amersfoort know that the first contact with the camp around Schumacher, at the end of 2014, mysterious. The appointment was for years that the winner in the ADAC Deutsche Kartmeisterschaft free a day in the simulator might be with his team. That year was that Mick. ‘The week before christmas, I got a phone call from Peter Kaiser, support and guidance of the family and the man who was the go-kart track in Kerpen now. When there are proposals over and over again.” The good results of Verstappen bottom Of Amersfoort had an important role, just as all Of Amersfoort current Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc binnenhaalde for the Formula 3 in 2015.

The young Schumacher won in that first race weekend in Oschersleben immediately a race, but that was it. Of Amersfoort had not thought that he was the steps would make him now on the edge of the Formula 1 have brought. “He made too many mistakes. The Formula 4 is a clear leerklasse. But he is certainly a child of his father: be honest and open and willing to listen and hard for it to work.’

His father was never. Mick spoke of it itself, according to Van Amersfoort not have and vice verse. Not that the explicitly taboo was, as it were, was when he was once in Switzerland for the family along if. It was simply assumed that it is not about Michael might go. Years later, Mick something publicly about his father say. That he was his ‘idol’.

After one year, leaving Schumacher in Amersfoort and he stepped over to the Italian Prema. He is second in the same ADAC Formula 4 championship and in the Italian Formula 4 championship. But regardless of his name, he falls on the circuit is very low. In his first year in the Formula 3 is not in the middle. That year, 2017, he brings on the circuit of Spa-Francorchamps is a tribute to his father, by a round in a Benetton in 1994 to drive, the year of Michael’s first world title.


Computed on the Spa, a year later, the breakthrough of Mick. In the third race of the weekend he wins for the first time in the Formula 3. This is followed by seven wins. This steals he the British Red Bull-talent Than Ticktum and he takes the title.

There come the end of 2018 rumors that Schumacher is on the list of Toro Rosso for the upcoming F1 season, but that is by moederteam Red Bull denied. Schumacher will drive this year in the Formula 2, the class under the Formula 1. Again, for the Italians of Prema, for which the Dutchman Nyck de Vries last season came out.

Mercedes, where father Schumacher after his comeback for reed, follows Mick also for a long time, but Ferrari has now the step taken, adding him to the junior programme. Two tests in a Formula 1 car for the coming season are part of the deal.

Maurizio Arrivabene, at the beginning of this month fired as team boss, had in september last year the interest already hinted. ‘How could say no to a name like this?’. But, said his successor Mattia Binotto, after the confirmation of the news last weekend: “We have him chosen for his talent and his qualities as a human being and a professional.’

Fair family

Formula 1 is getting closer, but according to Van Amersfoort will Schumacher and the family and nothing rashly to do. “They are not needed, they have the money and the time. If one family is real, than this. Until now they have the also sober and done with Mick. Two years in Formula 4, two years in Formula 3, now Formula 2. If it this year is mediocre, they do not hesitate even for a season of Formula 2. They will at all costs try to prevent that Mick on his nose. It is almost inhuman to expect him next to his father.’

Sebastian Vettel, fellow countryman and four-time world champion, said last weekend that Schumacher is a possible champion in the future. He raced both together and against him during the event Race of Champions. “But give him time. He is already under enough pressure.’ That is indeed the challenge for Schumacher, says Van Amersfoort. ‘But he can have a great isolate. He can be very good with press handling, according to me. That name gives incredibly a lot of schwung, but also an incredible amount of burden. He is now once so. But that will be at a given moment, able to do so.’

© NRC Handelsblad

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