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Schumacher to make F1 debut in Bahrain?

NEWS STORY
26/02/2019

Mick Schumacher, who was confirmed as a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy in January, and is currently taking part in F2 pre-season testing at Jerez, could make his F1 test debut as early as April, according to Sky Italia.

The broadcaster claims that according to its sources, the German will make his much anticipated debut in the post-Bahrain GP test which takes place on Tuesday 2 and Wednesday 3 April.

If true, the move would come off the back of a superb year in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, where the youngster claimed eight wins, seven pole positions and 14 podium finishes en route to capturing the overall title.

Countryman, Nico Rosberg, though excited by the prospect, admits that Schumacher would face enormous pressure at a time he will be preparing for his F2 debut.

"It will be a huge amount of pressure for him, and I know it too well," the 2016 world champion told Die Welt. "When he drives, half of Germany is watching. I'm looking forward to it but the expectations are huge.

"We have to give him at least two years," he added. "He should take the time that he needs."

Rosberg, himself the son of a world champion, indeed other than Damon Hill the only son of a world champion to emulate his father's success, believes Schumacher will benefit from working alongside Sebastian Vettel, a massive fan of Schumacher Snr.

"Mick can learn a lot from Vettel on a race weekend," said Rosberg. "Sebastian works very much in the same way as Mick's father did."

Under the rules that state that two of the four in-season test days must be given over to young drivers, someone who has competed in two or fewer Grands Prix, Schumacher could drive for Ferrari. However, the most likely scenario is that he would make his debut with Alfa Romeo.

"There is a shortlist and Mick is part of the shortlist because he is one of the guys in F2 who fits the criteria to be eligible for the rookie test," Alfa team boss Fred Vasseur told the official F1 website, "the choice is quite limited".

"We have not made a decision yet," he admitted. "There are several names on the list. We will continue to evaluate the options available and discuss with Ferrari."

"The first priority is to know when we will introduce big updates," he continued. "If we're not ready for big updates in Bahrain, we can do the rookie tests and do proper tests with current drivers in Barcelona. Or we could split and do one at one test and one at the other. It's a technical decision... the driver feedback is so important, (so the need to) find someone who gives good feedback but hasn't done more than two races is tricky."

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1. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 26/02/2019 15:31

"Schumacher to replace Vettel in 2020?"

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