Haas F1 says Mick Schumacher has bright future: ‘He doesn’t want to live off the name’

Mick Schumacher F1 future
Haas F1

SAKHIR, Bahrain — Mick Schumacher will make his debut in Formula One next season for the Haas F1 team, which will be tasked with guiding the future of a driver who will be scrutinized because of his surname.

Haas announced Wednesday the signing of the 21-year-old son of F1 legend Michael Schumacher, bringing the famous name back to the grid for the first time since the seven-time champion retired at the end of the 2012 season. His path has been guided by Ferrari, the team that delivered five of Michael Schumacher’s titles.

Mick Schumacher will be stepping up from Formula Two, where he leads the standings with one round to go. He has two victories and 10 podiums this season.

Haas F1 team principal Guenther Steiner said in an interview with SkySports that the team’s goal was to get Schumacher acclimated to F1, possibly grooming him for an eventual move into a first-tier ride.

“We need to try to grow him as much as possible to lead him into F1 for his future,” Steiner said. “He’s got a great future in front of him, and we’re the first step for him. We’re trying to introduce him to F1 as a driver, as a personality and that’s our aim for the next two to three years to make him ready for the future.”

Steiner noted there will be a brighter spotlight on the 2021 rookie because “he’s called Schumacher. These things come with pluses and minuses Sometimes people will be critical, but I think that drives him more to be successful. He doesn’t want to live off the name. He wants to live off his results.”

Schumacher joined Ferrari’s Driver Academy development program in 2019, and his arrival continues a close relationship between Haas and the Italian carmaker, which supplies the U.S. team’s engines and numerous other components. He will be teamed at Haas with Russian driver Nikita Mazepin.

He has tested F1 cars with Ferrari and Alfa Romeo Racing and had been scheduled to drive Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo in two practices at the Nurburgring in October before the sessions were scrubbed for inclement weather. Schumacher still was part of the race weekend, presenting one of his father’s helmets to Lewis Hamilton after the seven-time champion tied the elder Schumacher’s record for F1 victories.

Mick Schumacher presented Lewis Hamilton with a helmet of  Michael Schumacher’s after Hamilton’s 91st victory in F1 (Peter Fox/Getty Images).

In a social media video from Haas F1, Schumacher said reaching the series “really has been a dream that I’ve always dreamed about and now it’s finally coming true, so I’m just emotionally exploding really.

“The prospect of being on the Formula 1 grid next year makes me incredibly happy and I’m simply speechless,” Schumacher, who will make a practice debut with the team next week in Abu Dhabi, said in a release.

“I would like to thank Haas F1 Team, Scuderia Ferrari and the Ferrari Driver Academy for placing their trust in me. I also want to acknowledge and extend my love to my parents. I know that I owe them everything. I have always believed that I would realize my dream of Formula 1.

“A huge thank you must also go to all the great motorsport fans out there who have supported me throughout my career. I will give it my all, as I always do, and I look forward to going on this journey together with Haas F1 and them.”

Haas is replacing drivers Romain Grosjean, who has been with the team since its 2016 inception, and Kevin Magnussen, who joined in 2017.

Grosjean will miss Sunday’s second race in Bahrain after his fiery crash at the same venue last week and will be temporarily replaced by Pietro Fittipaldi.

Haas said Schumacher will make his team debut in the first practice session for the season finale in Abu Dhabi and also will be part of the young driver test at the Yas Marina circuit.

There is a chance that Schumacher could make his F1 debut with Haas in place of Grosjean at the Dec. 13 race, but Steiner said Grosjean would make the decision on whether he will drive in his final race for the team.

IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NTT IndyCar Series’ 2023 schedule will feature the same number of races and tracks as this season with some minor reshuffling of dates.

IndyCar will open the 2023 season March 5 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, and will conclude Sept. 10 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The 107th Indy 500 will take place May 28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 17-race schedule will conclude with a stretch of eight races in the final nine weeks.

“The NTT IndyCar Series is on an impactful upward trajectory, making progress at a pace that befits our thrilling style of competition,” Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “The 2023 season provides an opportunity to further build on this trend, bringing our sport and its stars to more markets and households and reaching new consumers across the globe.”

There will be 15 events on NBC: 13 races (including six of the final seven) plus Indy 500 qualifying May 20-21. There also are three races on USA Network and the Toronto race exclusively on Peacock. All races on NBC and USA also will have live simulstreams on Peacock.

In partnership with NBC Sports, the 2022 IndyCar season was the most-watched in six years and the most-watched across NBC Sports on record. The 2022 season also was the most streamed season on record.

“We’re very excited for our 2023 NTT IndyCar Series schedule and to build on this past season’s viewership milestones,” NBC Sports vice president of programming Mike Perman said in a release. “In providing comprehensive coverage across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, NBC Sports is once again looking forward to telling the stories of these world-class drivers and this compelling series.”

Notable elements on the 2023 schedule:

–There will be the same balance of seven road course races, five street courses and five ovals.

–St. Pete will be the season opener for the 13th time.

–The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will move from Belle Isle to the streets of downtown.

–The NASCAR doubleheader weekend at the IMS road course will shift to mid-August.

–The World Wide Technology Raceway event will move from Saturday to Sunday.

Start times for the 2023 events will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the 2023 IndyCar schedule:

Date Race/Track Network/Platform
Sun., March 5 Streets of St. Petersburg NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 2 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 16 Streets of Long Beach NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 30 Barber Motorsports Park NBC, Peacock
Sat., May 13 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) NBC, Peacock
Sun., May 28 The 107th Indianapolis 500 NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 4 Streets of Detroit NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 18 Road America USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 16 Streets of Toronto Peacock
Sat., July 22 Iowa Speedway – Race 1 NBC, Peacock
Sun., July 23 Iowa Speedway – Race 2 NBC, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 6 Streets of Nashville NBC, Peacock
Sat., Aug. 12 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) USA Network, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 27 World Wide Technology Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 3 Portland International Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 10 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca NBC, Peacock

*dates and networks/platforms are subject to change