Mick Schumacher drove more than 680 km on his first F1 test, day one with his father’s team Scuderia Ferrari, then on day two with the former Sauber team now called Alfa Romeo Racing.
By the end of it, many remain uncertain of the performance of the great Michael Schumacher’s son, Mick. Lots of column inches have been written, hyping up the youngster but the fact remains that not every driver can deliver their potential from what is now accepted as an OK age, i.e. barely out of nappies (diapers for our US readers).
The Schumacher family did very well during Micks early years to keep his identity low profile during karting, but now since entering the junior formula’s, the media have taken note of Mick’s every move, expecting similar talent to his father to emerge. The unfortunate fact is, Mick is not his father and must tread his own path, and in the opinion of TJ13 the media must allow the youngster a chance.
Already we’re seeing “he’s not good enough” statements being declared, most notably from former Ferrari boss Cesare Fioria. According to the Italian, Schumacher isn’t convinced by the speed of the German after his test with Ferrari last week.
“He was second during the Formula 1 test [with Ferrari], but with tyres that were twice as soft as those of Verstappen, which are faster.
“So far, Mick Schumacher doesn’t look competitive to me, but there is a lot to do. In Formula 2 he is racing in a very competitive car, but he was eighth and sixth in Bahrain,” concludes Fioria.
For Mick, the young Schumacher’s saying the right things and trying to not respond to the hype, only letting on that he’s having fun testing modern F1 cars. Indeed after the Alfa Romeo Racing run on day two, Mick was delighted with the experience saying that “It is fun to drive these cars” in a boyish like moment.
“It was great to work with the Alfa Romeo Racing team, build confidence in the car and keep improving. I am sure I will return home with some very nice memories, and I am already looking forward to preparing for my second Formula 2 weekend in Baku, ” added Mick.
What is perhaps more interesting for Formula 1 fans is what Mick let slip the day before after testing for Ferrari in the current spec SF90, the very car that Leclerc and Vettel are racing.
The current belief is that the magic 1,000 horsepower mark that was reached and breached some two years ago by at least Mercedes, has been pegged back for 2019 by the new FIA engine rules (read more on that here). It is thought that despite the restrictions, the second or third evolutions of the current power units from both manufacturers might well be back to that heady power value later this year.
Could Ferrari already be at 1,000 bhp now with their first iteration of the 2019 power unit?
TJ13 believes Mercedes and Ferrari are about even after publishing some analysis comparing outputs of each manufacturer from Bahrain’s Q3 session. Renault and Honda are way back in power.
According to Germany’s Autobild newspaper, Mick Schumacher may have let slip something that Ferrari would consider keeping a closely guarded secret, and that is one of specific engine power output.
When describing the experience driving the SF90, Mick said that he “enjoyed it 110 percent” and that “The car drives out of the corners really well”.
But the young Schumacher also wanted to tell all the difficulty driving something so far ahead of the F2 car he currently competes with.
“There must also be respect. If it’s not there, it’ll be dangerous with over 1,000 hp.” says the young German.
That statement, if true, means that we might well be seeing the Ferrari topping the 1,000 hp mark yet again, meaning the measures the FIA put in place to peg back power outputs has failed.
Already last year, paddock insiders assumed that the Mercedes engine had cracked the 1000 hp mark. Mercedes engine boss Andy Cowell this week responded to questions posed about the performance of their 1.6-liter V6 turbo hybrid during the tests in Barcelona. The engineer was then asked about the 1000 hp question…
With a proud smile on his face: “This year only? We already had that much last year…”
Rather worrying for Renault and Honda, it seems that the power arms race for the big two manufacturers is still widening the gap, making title challenges nigh on impossible for anyone not sporting silver or red colours.