Mick Schumacher signs F1 contract with Haas; Grosjean out of hospital
Mick Schumacher, son of legendary German driver Michael Schumacher, will make his Formula One debut next season having agreed a “multi-year” contract with the US team Haas.
“I’m very pleased that we’re able to confirm Mick Schumacher in our driver line-up for next season and I look forward to welcoming him into the team,” stated Guenther Steiner, Haas team principal on Wednesday.
“I firmly believe he’s earned the opportunity to graduate into Formula 1 based on his performances. We have an opportunity ahead of us, as a team, to evaluate and nurture a new driver given our familiarity with our race package heading into 2021.”
The 21-year-old Schumacher leads the F2 standings into the approaching final race weekend of the season but will now partner another newcomer, Russian 21-year-old Nikita Mazepin, in the elite series next season, said dpa.
“The prospect of being on the Formula 1 grid next year makes me incredibly happy and I’m simply speechless,” said Schumacher.
“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.”
Schumacher get an early feel for his new team in Friday practice ahead of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on December 13. And he will drive again at a Yas Marina test after that race.
F1 has long been the goal for Schumacher as he made his way through the lower ranks but he joins a team that disappointed in 2020. Haas are second last in the constructors’ standings with a mere three points from 15 races.
Haas previously said both current drivers, Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean, would not have their contracts renewed.
With rule changes delayed by the coronavirus to 2022, it is doubtful the Haas car will be especially competitive next year. Steiner, however, believes the two youngsters recruited this week are building blocks for the future.
Grosjean was released from hospital on Wednesday as he continues to recover from burns suffered in a heavy crash at last Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix. He will be replaced by Brazilian Pietro Fittipaldi at the coming Sakhir GP held at the same venue.
Michael Schumacher won seven F1 world titles, a record matched by Lewis Hamilton this season, and won 91 races – a best-mark the brilliant Briton also overhauled this term.
But he has not appeared publicly since a severe skiing accident at the end of 2013 as he continues to recover at home in Geneva.