MARANELLO, Italy (AP) Mick Schumacher is following in his father Michael Schumacher’s footsteps at Ferrari.
Scuderia Ferrari says the 19-year-old Mick Schumacher, who will be racing in the 2019 Formula 2 championship as the European F3 champion, has joined its driver academy and will take part in pre-season preparation activities from next week.
Team principal Mattia Binotto says “there’s no doubt that welcoming Mick into Ferrari has a special emotional meaning, but we have chosen him for his talent and the human and professional qualities that have already distinguished him despite his young age.”
It increases the chances that Mick Schumacher could be on the F1 grid as early as 2020 if he shines in F2 the way Charles Leclerc has.
After joining the Ferrari academy, the 21-year-old Leclerc won the F2 title at the first attempt and got an F1 seat with Sauber for 2018. He did so well in his debut F1 season he was fast-tracked to Ferrari, where he will race this season alongside Sebastian Vettel.
Schumacher’s father Michael won seven F1 titles, five of those with Ferrari from 2000-04. Michael Schumacher holds the record for race wins with 91 and is second all-time for pole positions behind Lewis Hamilton.
“This is another step forward in the right direction,” Mick Schumacher said in a statement released by Ferrari. “It is more than obvious that Ferrari has a big place in my heart since I was born and also in the hearts of our family, so I am delighted on a personal level about this opportunity as well.”
Michael Schumacher, 50, suffered serious head injuries in an accident while he was skiing with Mick in the French Alps at Meribel on Dec. 29, 2013. Updates on his health have been scarce since he left hospital in September 2014 to be cared for privately at his Swiss home on the shores of Lake Geneva.
AP Sports Writer Jerome Pugmire in Paris contributed to this report.