Schumacher: Second F2 year can be “head start” for F1 2021

Ferrari junior Mick Schumacher believes he can get a "head start" for Formula 1 by staying in Formula 2 for another season, after being passed up for a 2020 F1 promotion.

Schumacher: Second F2 year can be “head start” for F1 2021

Schumacher – son of seven-time F1 champion Michael – drove Ferrari and Alfa Romeo’s current F1 cars in tests this year alongside his F2 programme in 2019.

In F2 he took a win in Hungary and finished 12th in the standings in his rookie year while racing for Prema Racing, which he will return to next year.

Motorsport.com sources indicate that Schumacher was being evaluated for the Alfa Romeo seat, but a combination of his results in F2 and the resurgence of Antonio Giovinazzi in the second half of the season meant the team elected to stick with Italian Giovinazzi – also a Ferrari junior – for 2020.

Schumacher's sophomore season in F2 will coincide with the series switching to 18-inch tyres, a year before F1's own switch in 2021 - and Schumacher sees this as a silver lining to not having got an F1 chance for next year.

“Clearly if you get the opportunity [in F1], you take it, so the opportunity hasn’t been there,” Schumacher told Motorsport.com “That’s pretty open and clear. 

“But then the next decision was to stay in F2. For me [it was] the most intelligent and most reliable decision I could take and category I could drive in. 

“F2 is going to have the new tyres next year [18-inch], which is going to be positive for me because that’s going to be for F1 in 2021. 

“If then we manage to do the step, I would have a head start. 

"Obviously it’s different but I think in a junior category it’s going to help me get more experience. Maybe also put me in a different position for next year.”

Mick Schumacher, Prema Racing

Mick Schumacher, Prema Racing

Photo by: Joe Portlock / Motorsport Images

Having won the 2018 European Formula 3 Championship, Schumacher took over the Prema F2 car driven to fourth in the standings by Nyck de Vries last year, behind only F1 graduates George Russell, Lando Norris and Alex Albon.

The German saw reliability issues as a big reason why his 2019 results didn’t reflect the pace he has shown at certain rounds this season. 

“I think it’s been a very positive year in terms of pure performance,” Schumacher said. “It’s been a negative year in terms of reliability. 

“I think we had a few races where the points and positions have been taken away from us, where else it could have been a very strong weekend and performance. 

“Unfortunately the set-up of the F2 weekend is basically race one decides the place you will start for race two. 

“Many of my problems were in race one, which meant the weekend was basically trashed away from there. 

“It’s very unfortunate because I think we could have done very good weekends here and there which would have given me, in the end result, a lot of points, and put me in a different position in the championship.”

shares
comments
Deletraz edges ART rookies on first day of F2 test

Previous article

Deletraz edges ART rookies on first day of F2 test

Next article

Deletraz fastest again on second day of F2 test

Deletraz fastest again on second day of F2 test
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1 , FIA F2
Drivers Mick Schumacher
Teams Prema Powerteam
Author Jack Benyon
The F1 hopeful living two lives to keep his dream alive Prime

The F1 hopeful living two lives to keep his dream alive

Having lost his backing from Red Bull, Richard Verschoor has had to graft to continue his ascent up the single-seater ladder. An impressive Formula 2 debut in Bahrain, despite the lateness of his deal, shows his unorthodox approach is paying dividends.

FIA F2
Apr 22, 2021
Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success? Prime

Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success?

Going into the 2021 Formula 2 season the biggest talking point wasn’t about any drivers or teams, but the new race weekend format. Created partly out of financial necessity but also to spice up the action, the Bahrain opener provided a snapshot of the positives and negatives to come.

FIA F2
Apr 4, 2021
Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs Prime

Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs

He was tipped for glory in FIA Formula 2 last year, but was hampered by reliability woes at inopportune moments. Guanyu Zhou knows he won't get too many more chances if he is to become China's first F1 driver, with fierce competition within the ranks of Alpine's junior stable

FIA F2
Mar 25, 2021
Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates Prime

Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates

Carlin has helped guide enough drivers to Formula 1 to fill out an entire grid, plus a handful of reserves, to create a remarkable alumni list. With Yuki Tsunoda set to join that group, Motorsport.com has ranked its graduates to grace the grand prix scene...

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
How Mick Schumacher earned his Haas F1 chance Prime

How Mick Schumacher earned his Haas F1 chance

Michael Schumacher may have won seven Formula 1 titles, but he didn't even compete for a crown at the second tier. Son Mick put that right in 2020, and proved to Ferrari that he was deserving of a shot at motorsport's elite category in 2021…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2021
How Aitken’s fortunes turned around for his shock F1 chance Prime

How Aitken’s fortunes turned around for his shock F1 chance

As a consequence of George Russell's step up to Mercedes to cover for the COVID-positive Lewis Hamilton, Jack Aitken will make his Formula 1 debut for Williams at the Sakhir Grand Prix. Long on F1's peripheries, Aitken finally has a chance to shine.

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2020
How F1's foundation has responded to the coronavirus threat Prime

How F1's foundation has responded to the coronavirus threat

While Formula 1 felt the public brunt of the coronavirus pandemic, the virus also put the Formula 2 and Formula 3 categories on hiatus. But their roles in feeding F1 with drivers meant their survival was crucial to their parent series' long-term future

FIA F2
Jun 11, 2020
The year Leclerc fully revealed his star status Prime

The year Leclerc fully revealed his star status

In the latest feature in our series looking back on the 2010s, we revisit Charles Leclerc's sensational Formula 2 season - where he strode among on-track highs and lows, as well as tragedy away from motorsport, to earn a place on the Formula 1 grid

Formula 1
Dec 26, 2019