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Mick Schumacher: A 'big privilege' to carry legendary surname into Formula One again

2021/04/23

Carrying the surname of one of the greatest Formula One drivers ever understandably brings huge pressure and expectation, but Mick Schumacher  feels only pride.

The 21-year-old, son of seven-time world champion Michael. is gearing up for his first season in F1, exactly 30 years after his father made his debut at Spa in 1991.
Schumacher's first race will be with the American Haas team at the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28 and he understands the eyes of the motorsport world will 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 preparing for this moment almost all of his life.
      From the age of two, he would race around his garden in go-karts and by the time he was 11, Schumacher knew he wanted to race professionally.

      To allow his talents to flourish and avoid any unwanted media pressure, Schumacher initially raced under his mother's maiden name -- Betsch -- as he rose through 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 could take my time, I didn't have any rush, I didn't have any media attention at the time, which obviously was very positive because I could just be a child and enjoy 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 right time for me to get used to it," he says. "We were getting into Formula cars and it's not that long until I was making the steps up in the junior categories -- and obviously with every junior category that I go up, the media attention was getting more."


      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 guess we're probably different in a few ways, but we're very similar in other ways," he explains. "It's very interesting to see how we how we do things on track. For me, when I compare myself [to him], it is very much in his prime, the peak of his career when he was racing with Ferrari and having all those 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.


      Such was his love of driving growing up, Schumacher admits there was "never a plan B." While the other kids at school dreamed of becoming astronauts or the president, his singular focus was on racing around a track.
        In Bahrain later this month, his dream of becoming a Formula One driver like his father will 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."



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