The name of Schumacher will continue to resonate in the corridors of the Maranello stable. German Mick Schumacher, son of Michael, will be one of Ferrari’s reserve drivers, in addition to competing in the 2022 Formula 1 season with Haas, Scuderia Team Principal Mattia Binotto has announced.
« We must not forget that he is already a Ferrari driver: he is part of the Ferrari Driver Academy and, as we repeat, this academy exists to identify future Ferrari drivers », Binotto explained during a conference of virtual press Monday. « If you are part of it and you are successful, you will certainly have opportunities. »
Very busy tubs
In any case, this is an encouragement after Schumacher’s first season in the premier class in 2021. The Italian leader estimated that the German (19th and penultimate titular driver, without any points registered at the wheel of a very low Haas) « did well and improved, not just in terms of consistency but also in speed ».
Mick, who will be 23 on March 22, will assume the role of reserve driver (which consists of replacing the holders if they are sick or injured) during 11 of the 23 Grands Prix scheduled for next year, alternating with the Italian Antonio Giovinazzi. The bucket seats at Ferrari should not, however, be released immediately. The Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc is hired until the end of 2024. The Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr, he signed until the end of 2022 but « we will discuss during the winter of an extension of contract », specified Binotto.
In addition, in 2022, completely new F1 cars will take to the track after an upheaval in technical regulations and Ferrari has devoted most of its resources this year to developing its own. The single-seater was designed with « a more open mind than before » and incorporates « a lot of innovations », said Binotto, who however remains cautious about the prospects of the Scuderia as it is impossible to locate due to the absence of « references » on what we do in the other stables.
“We hope to be competitive and for me it’s being in a position to win races. Does that mean we can fight for the championship? As it stands, the gap is still significant (with the top teams Mercedes and Red Bull) but it is part of Ferrari’s DNA to be able to fight for pole positions and victories ”, concluded the engineer.