Carlos Sainz says he feels sorry for Mick Schumacher as the Formula 1 media hype goes into overdrive in Bahrain. Schumacher will make his Formula 2 debut at Sakhir this weekend, before testing for both Ferrari and Alfa Romeo at the circuit next week.
A big gathering of press swarmed around the son of F1 legend Michael Schumacher in Bahrain, although the young German only wanted to talk about F2.
Having won European F3 last year, Schumacher was linked to Toro Rosso, before ultimately committing to F2 and signing a development deal with Ferrari – the team his father is synonymous with.
Sainz said in Bahrain: "I really sympathise with him, because I know something about this."
Indeed, Sainz's father is the world rallying legend of the same name.
"Mick will have a hard time this season," McLaren driver Sainz predicted.
"When you are the son of a champion, sometimes it can be a painful experience, because people are always saying 'Here is the son of such and such'.
"You also want to earn a name for yourself, and I have no doubt that Mick is also doing that."
Sainz said Schumacher "earned his opportunity" to test for F1 teams next week "thanks to his talent and his results".
Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone agrees that Schumacher has a "big burden on his shoulders" this weekend in Bahrain.
"People will always compare him," he told Auto Bild.
"He must be half hoping that he wins [the Formula 2 race], and half hoping that he loses. My advice is that he cannot get involved with all of that, he should just do his thing," Ecclestone added.
Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko added: "It would be good for him if he could race with a different name, but that is no longer possible.
"All I know is that he needs extremely good nerves to survive all this hype."
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