Formula 2 driver Mick Schumacher says that he looks up to compatriot Sebastian Vettel in the same way Vettel did to Michael Schumacher.
As a talisman of Germany on the international stage throughout his career, Michael Schumacher made a huge impression on the young Sebastian Vettel with the current Ferrari man making no attempt to hide his admiration and respect for the seven time World Champion.
With Vettel’s own career taking off with Red Bull Racing and enjoying a run of titles when Michael returned to the sport with Mercedes, the pair grew close as contemporaries and rivals; they also teamed up together to race successfully as Team Germany in the annual Race of Champions tournament.
With Michael the man Sebastian is hoping to emulate, Schumacher Junior says that he looks up to Vettel in the same way. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport-Magazin, Mick Schumacher explained his relationship with his stablemate and his father’s friend: “I’ve got a great deal of respect for him. We talk a lot about motorsport. I try to get tips from him and put them into practice. He’s been in the sport quite a few more years than me, so every conversation we have helps. I think what my dad was to Sebastian, he is for me, someone that I’m close to, with whom I can talk about motorsport.”
With Schumacher signed to Ferrari’s Driver Academy and racing with the Prema team in Formula 2, the young German driver explained that he has grown up with Ferrari and the Italians and feels a kinship with them: “I feel drawn to Ferrari. I grew up with them and have always driven for Italian teams with the exception of one season. Even early on, when I was in karting, I drove for Tony Kart in a completely Italian team. The only year I haven’t worked with Italians was in 2015 when I competed in Formula 4 with Van Amersfoort. I’m back now with Italians once again at Prema. The passion they have for motorsport is just terrific. You appreciate that all the more at Ferrari. Walking around Maranello or Fiorano feels really special. It’s just one big happy family. You feel good when you’re there, part of the Ferrari family.”
Schumacher’s maiden Formula 2 season has had its highs and lows as he currently lies P12 in the standings with just the Abu Dhabi round remaining, but he did manage to win the Hungarian sprint race to return the Schumacher name to the top step of the podium. Having had a pretty tough year overall, he says that it’s necessary to have trying times before hopefully making the step up to Formula 1: “I sometimes think, oh shit, but also know that it’s a learning process. The hard times make us stronger. If we can manage to turn things around so that it works out positive for us in the end, then we’ve learned more than if everything had gone well right from the start.”
“If at some point, you join Formula 1 and then suddenly find that nothing’s going right, then the pressure is enormous. These are situations that can completely break a driver. However, the person who has been through it all before and has overcome hard times is inured to it and can handle the situation better, in my opinion.”