Ferrari would offer Mick Schumacher a “red carpet” to join its young driver academy in the future should he wish to.
The son of seven-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher, Schumacher Jr. is set to race in Formula 3 this year with Prema Powerteam.
The 17-year-old finished second in both the German and Italian F4 series last year, and has been linked with a possible move into a Formula 1 team’s young driver program in the future.
Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy, Ferrari Driver Academy manager Massimo Rivola said he would be closely monitoring Schumacher’s progress in F3 this year.
“Obviously we are following him,” Rivola said. “This year we will have the opportunity to be very close to Mick, because he will be teammate of our FDA driver [Guan Yu] Zhou.
“About his future, I don’t know what Mick will decide to do. But if he would like to enter the FDA program, he will find a red carpet.”
Rivola was full of praise for Schumacher’s manner and handling of the media, the latter given the level of scrutiny that comes with having a father who spent much of his life in the spotlight.
“Mick seems to be very polite and he’s not full of himself,” Rivola said.
“He’s very young and he must manage the great media pressure. But he is doing it very well.”
Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.
Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.
“It’s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,” said the 18-year-old Cunha. “I am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!”
Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”