Getty Images

Mick Schumacher drives father Michael’s F1 title winning car at Spa

Leave a comment

Mick Schumacher, the son of seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher, completed a poignant show run ahead of Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix in his father’s championship-winning Benetton B194 car.

Schumacher Jr., 18, was given the chance to sample the Benetton that took his father to a maiden world title in 1994 in front of a bumper crowd at Spa.

The demonstration was organized to celebrate 25 years since Michael Schumacher’s maiden grand prix victory, coming at Spa in 1992.

Schumacher Jr. completed a lap in the Benetton, sporting a half-and-half helmet that combined his own design with his father’s from 1994.

“Amazing, amazing. It was incredible to be able to drive it,” Schumacher Jr. said.

“I really thought it was just great to use the 1994 helmet livery of my dad and myself. I’m just amazed by the car. It was awesome.

“It’s difficult to compare [to the F3 car] for sure. It’s two different things.

“To be able to drive the F1 car here is just amazing and I’m really honoured to do that here.”

Schumacher Jr. was greeted on the main straight by Ross Brawn and Pat Symonds, both of whom were on the pit wall the day for Schumacher’s win.

“You can’t come to Spa without thinking about Michael. It was Michael’s circuit,” said Brawn.

Symonds added: “Mick, the one thing I do know is that you father would be very, very proud of you today.”

The Formula 3 racer was also gifted a special picture book by Mercedes, going from his father’s 1994 title win right the way up to his own initial test in the Benetton earlier this month, highlighting all the big moments for the Schumacher family in the sport.

Michael Schumacher remains under close care at his home in Switzerland, three-and-a-half years on from suffering severe head injuries in a skiing accident.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.