Ferrari firmly expects that a Schumacher will soon be driving a car powered by an engine from Maranello at the pinnacle of motorsport again, claims Nico Hülkenberg.
“I’m sure that we’ll see him in Formula 1 in two years at the latest,” believes the man from Emmerich, during an interview with N-TV in Germany. The soon to be ex Renault factory driver says that he’s closely followed the rise of the Schumacher during his first Formula 2 season, and thinks he has “developed well”.
Indeed, for the sake of coining a traditional phrase popular with F1 drivers, Nico believes “for sure” that Mick will be in F1 soon.
“Of course, you have to see the conditions under which he will grow. The expectations are extremely high, this is not an easy situation”, Hülkenberg points out. Because the comparison with record holder and former seven time champion, Michael Schumacher is repeatedly made.
Mick himself, now 20 years old, appears to have a cool head but is a hard racer on track. He makes no secret of the fact that Formula 1 is his goal:
“I’ll do my best to learn as much as possible. So that I’ll be ready when the time comes, and I’ll feel comfortable in any team,” he said after his first F2 victory in Budapest.
An F1 promotion for the 2020 season will probably come too soon. In two years, however, most seats will not be available yet and the rule change could open a door for Schumacher.
Since the beginning of the year, he has been a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA), the official junior program for the Italian team.
He was also allowed to drive historic Formula 1 racing cars (Benetton B194 and Ferrari F2004) of his father Michael at Spa in 2017 and Hockenheim in 2019 and 2019, respectively. “As far as I can judge from a distance, he does it very well. He just clinched his first [Formula 2] victory,” says Hülkenberg.
The 32-year-old believes that Schumacher, as a young driver, has a slightly easier time entering the top class today than he himself did ten years ago.
“Perhaps it has become a bit easier from the cars’ point of view. We’ve got a lot of downforce, the cars aren’t easy to drive either, but perhaps a bit self-explanatory and not quite as demanding as they were ten years ago.” muses the German.
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