MANAMA – Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel on Thursday welcomed his Ferrari team’s move to give fellow-German Mick Schumacher a Formula One test next week.
Speaking to reporters ahead of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, Vettel said he believed the son of his own childhood hero seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, who won five of his titles with Ferrari, fully deserved the opportunity.
Mick Schumacher, 20, is scheduled to test with Ferrari on Tuesday or Wednesday when he will also have a run in an Alfa Romeo. He is due to take part in his first Formula Two race this weekend.
"Obviously, with the name and (being) the son of Michael, there's certainly some expectation, but to end up in Formula One you need to prove that you have the speed," said Vettel, who has known him since he was a child.
"So far, he has done really well and deserves his chance.
"Now we should give him time to do his job. It's not easy for him, but, on the other hand, he's used to it, so we'll see. But for sure it's big excitement for the test."
There was some sympathy for Schumacher junior from another Formula One son of a champion – Spaniard Carlos Sainz, whose father Carlos won the world rally championship twice.
"I have a lot of sympathy for Mick,” he said. "I know what it's like to be the 'son of'… You want to make your own name."
Sainz’s McLaren team-mate British rookie Lando Norris said he felt Schumacher deserved his chance. “It’s a cool thing, especially as he will be following in his dad’s footsteps – he deserves it.
“He’s a good driver and he’s a really nice character."AFP