F1: Mick Schumacher makes Ferrari test debut - pictures, video and reactions
There’s also a familiar face test driving for McLaren in Bahrain...
Mick Schumacher, son of Formula 1 legend Michael, has made his test debut for Scuderia Ferrari.
The 20-year-old German, who this season is competing in F2, is part of the Ferrari Driver Academy.
He got behind the wheel of the Ferrari SF90 on Tuesday at the two-day in-season test at the Bahrain International Circuit. On Wednesday he will test the Alfa Romeo Racing car.
Other drivers taking part on day one of the in-season test included world champion Lewis Hamilton for Mercedes and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. However, all eyes were on Schumacher junior.
The BBC’s Andrew Benson said a story came “full circle” as Mick Schumacher stepped into the Ferrari cockpit - 12 years and four months after his father Michael vacated one for the last time.
Having such a famous motor sport name means there’s huge expectations on the youngster’s shoulders.
Mick’s father Michael won seven F1 titles, including five in succession for Ferrari from 2000 to 2004. Five years ago the F1 icon suffered serious brain injuries after a skiing accident on 29 December 2013. He has not been seen in public since, the BBC reports.
“Two days of testing in Bahrain are the first steps in a plan aimed at establishing whether the son of the most successful grand prix driver in history has the talent to follow his father’s footsteps into F1,” Benson wrote.
“Michael’s success and fame mean 20-year-old Mick will have to do this in a spotlight with which most aspiring F1 drivers do not have to contend.”
A Schumi in a Ferrari is a “sight for sore eyes”, says Planet F1. The website added: “We would love to downplay the moment; just another rookie learning the ropes in an F1 car. However, this rookie is Mick Schumacher. And this car is a Ferrari.”
Sky Sports News reporter Craig Slater added: “To see Mick in the red of Ferrari, this is quite a moment in Formula 1. He’s looked pretty comfortable and he has had time to debrief with engineers and Pirelli tyre experts.”
Schumacher was eighth in the standings at the halfway stage of a rain-hit day one in Bahrain. He posted a best lap time of 1:32.552.
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Alonso’s back in a McLaren
There was another familiar F1 name in Bahrain on Tuesday. Two-time champion Fernando Alonso was back in the McLaren to assist Pirelli with its tyre programme, F1.com reports. The Spaniard retired from F1 at the end of last season but remains part of the McLaren Racing family.
On Wednesday Alonso will share McLaren Pirelli testing duties with Carlos Sainz. Sky Sports reports that also on track on day two will be Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari and British 19-year-old Dan Ticktum in the Red Bull. Williams’s British rookie George Russell, 21, will test for Mercedes.
Bahrain in-season test: Wednesday driver line-ups
- Mercedes: George Russell
- Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel
- Red Bull: Dan Ticktum
- Alfa Romeo: Mick Schumacher
- McLaren: Lando Norris
- McLaren (Pirelli Test): Carlos Sainz/Fernando Alonso
- Haas: Pietro Fittipaldi
- Renault: Jack Aitken
- Toro Rosso: Alexander Albon
- Toro Rosso (Pirelli Test): Daniil Kvyat
- Racing Point: Sergio Perez
- Williams: Nicholas Latifi