Bahrain – Mick Schumacher says he was impressed by what an F1 car could do on track after getting his first taste of contemporary machinery by driving the Ferrari SF90 at Sakhir.
Schumacher, who made his Formula 2 debut just last weekend with Prema, was given his first shot in a Formula 1 car by being assigned the Tuesday running with the SF90 at the in-season test. All teams are obligated to run a ‘young driver’ (of two Grands Prix or less experience) and Schumacher, as a Ferrari Academy Driver, ticked that box for them.
As a result, the son of Ferrari talisman Michael got to peel out of the garage driving the 2019 Ferrari on Tuesday, understandably greeted by a cacophony of photographers clicking their cameras to capture the moment a Schumacher returned to a Ferrari cockpit.
Unusually, the weather in Bahrain was tumultuous, with rain stopping play in the afternoon as the teams didn’t have any tyres appropriate for running in the damp conditions. As a result, Mick only managed to rack up 56 laps over the course of the day. His best time, 1:29.976, set on the softest C5 Pirellis, was good enough to give him P2 at the end of the day. This was 0.6 behind Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, with the Dutch drivers time set on the C3 tyre.
“I really enjoyed today. It felt like home in the garage from the very first moment with a lot of people that know me since I was very young.” said Schumacher afterwards.
“The SF90 is incredible because of the power it has, but it is also smooth to drive, and that’s why I enjoyed myself so much. I was impressed by the braking power an F1 car has. It seemed to me you could brake later and later and the car would have made the turn anyway. I would like to say thank you Ferrari for this incredible opportunity and I’m looking forward to test the Alfa Romeo tomorrow.”
With Mick Schumacher driving the Alfa Romeo C38 on Wednesday, Sebastian Vettel takes over the wheel of the SF90.