Mercedes boss hopes ‘robbed’ Lewis Hamilton will continue racing
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Ferrari have revealed they are constantly coaching Mick Schumacher as part of his journey to a potential seat at the Scuderia as he hopes to emulate his father Michael’s career in Formula One. Schumacher was handed his F1 debut with Haas after winning the Formula 2 title at the end of the 2020 season after a dramatic final race in Sakhir.
The German followed in the footsteps of Charles Leclerc and George Russell by making an immediate step up but struggled to make much of an impact due to the team refusing to develop their car in 2021 and instead concentrating on their 2022 car.
It was recently announced the son of the seven-time world champion will officially share the Ferrari reserve driver role with former Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi.
The German will stand in for the Scuderia at 11 race weekends in 2022, with Giovinazzi, who has now moved across to Formula E, the all-electric single-seater series, on standby for the other 12 events that don’t clash with his new commitments.
Assessing his performance, Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto said: “In 2021, he was followed by Ferrari engineers dedicated to the Ferrari Driver Academy programme to support him in his development and that will continue next year. A simulator will be available to him at Maranello.”
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Despite his tough season, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto admits that Ferrari are doing their all to help Schumacher’s development.
He added: “Mick is still part of the Ferrari Driver Academy which means we are still coaching him as a driver even today.
“But we’ve an entire programme [with him] because in still being part of an academy, it’s part of our objective to continuously try to develop them as drivers.
“Again, the final objective one day, is they will prove to be capable to be a Ferrari driver.”
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Schumacher will remain at Haas in 2022 in his second year in Formula One alongside Nikita Mazepin.
But Binotto said his hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed after a challenging first season.
“The reason we’ve got a Ferrari Driver Academy is to identify who can be the Ferrari driver for the future,” Binotto added.
“Being part of it, if you are doing well, no doubt you may have opportunities. He’s already had one season in F1, which is important.
“I think Mick through the season did well. He improved himself, not only in terms of consistency but as well in terms of speed.
“If I look at the last races, he was a lot closer to the cars ahead, while Haas didn’t really develop the car at all. The fact that he was closer proved he had a good improvement on the speed itself.”
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