THE GAME 2022 AUG UPNEXT Mick Schumacher L

Mick Schumacher: The weight of being a prodigy

When the Haas F1 team named Mick Schumacher as their driver for the 2021 season, fans all over the world rejoiced. It marked the return of not just a familiar name, but the biggest name in Formula 1—Michael Schumacher.

Over a year since his Formula 1 debut with Haas, Mick Schumacher finally finished within the top 10 in the British Grand Prix last weekend. With the eighth-place finish, he scored his first points in F1.

This was a big deal, especially as the son of the legendary Michael Schumacher.

Michael Schumacher is arguably the most successful racing driver of our time. He has achieved so much during his tenure in Formula 1, most notably him being the first to reach a record of seven world championships. 

With all that, Mick has left some pretty big shoes to fill. But let’s see what that means exactly.

Karting days

Already, there are several significant differences between the careers of this father-and-son duo. But even so, all racers start at the same place: karting. 

Both Michael and Mick Schumacher started karting at young ages, but Michael won his first karting championship when he was younger. Although it was just a club karting championship, he went on to win the German Junior Kart Championship at 13. 

On the other hand, although Mick didn’t win the European or German karting championships having finished second, he won his first championship at 11 at the Kerpener Kartchallenge in 2010.

Formula racing

When it comes to Formula racing, Mick passed through them all, making his way from F4 to F2. While racing for Prema Powerteam, he finished in second place in both the ADAC Formula 4 and Italian F4 Championship, unable to clinch a title. 

Michael started racing in the Formula categories at a later age, racing in the Formula Konig at 19. But even though he may have made the transition from karting to the Formulas later, he won the Formula Konig in that first year. 

Both Michael and Mick raced in Formula 3 and had similar experiences in this category. After both their first years racing in the F3 category, they each won their first Formula championship in the following year. 

Following this success, Mick got promoted to Formula 2, where he repeated the same trend: spending the first year getting acquainted with the new cars and fighting for the championship in the following season. 

Michael, on the other hand, skipped that step. Instead, he competed in races in the World Sportscar Championship, Le Mans, and the Japanese Formula 3000 Championships. 

These were the final steps before reaching the pinnacle of racing: Formula 1.

The top league

A year after his F3 title win, Michael made his Formula 1 debut. His first ever race was for the Jordan-Ford team when he replaced Bertrand Gachot on track. He qualified seventh in his first race weekend. 

After an impressive debut, he drove for Benetton-Ford for the remainder of the 1991 season. In the following year, he stayed on with Benetton and earned his first podium finish in the Mexican Grand Prix. By the end of 1992, he finished third in the overall drivers’ championship. 

He didn’t improve in 1993, finishing only fourth. But in the end, it didn’t matter. 1994 marked Michael’s first-ever world championship. 

Now, the rest is history. He earned six more world championships over the course of 306 race starts in Formula 1. 

On the other side of the track, Mick made his F1 debut just last year with the Haas team. He was 22 as well, just like his dad. But his start to the season wasn’t quite as impressive. 

While Michael was qualifying within the top 10 of his first race weekend, Mick qualified in 19th in his debut and finished 16th. 

His first F1 season was a challenge, spinning or crashing in six race weekends. Now on his second season, still driving for Haas, he’s slowly making his way up, as he finally scored his first points in the British Grand Prix last weekend.

He’s definitely getting closer to where he wants to be. But in the meantime, he’s still searching for a number to replace the zeroes he has next to his tallies for pole positions, podium finishes, and wins.

Long track ahead

We have to give Mick Schumacher the benefit of the doubt. He is competing in an entirely different era of racing than his dad did. The technology of Formula 1 has allowed today’s cars to surpass the limits of the past. And Mick isn’t exactly sitting in the most prized car on the track. 

Everyone knows that he has big shoes to fill, and now we can see just how big those shoes are. In the span of over 300 races, Micahel made the most of his time on track:

  • 91 race wins
  • 155 podium finishes
  • 68 pole positions
  • 77 fastest laps
  • 7 world championships

Michael Schumacher is a tough act to follow for anyone, but being Mick Schumacher makes it even more so. 

It’s near impossible to separate the father from the son in sports—fans love to compare. But whether or not Mick will end his career living up to the hype, it certainly will be fun watching him try.