Schumacher name 'only positive' for Mick - Verstappen
Max Verstappen thinks a famous surname will only benefit Mick Schumacher's quest to make it to Formula 1. The son of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher makes his Formula 2 debut in Bahrain this weekend, with a first test of Ferrari machinery slated for next week.
Carlos Sainz – himself the son of motorsport royalty, of course – and Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko, said the Schumacher name may be a burden for the 20-year-old.
Corinna Schumacher, Mick's mother, is on hand in Bahrain to watch him make his F2 debut.
"It's nice to see Corinna here," Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto said.
Louis Camilleri, the Ferrari CEO, admitted that the Italian team is watching Schumacher carefully, particularly his debut F1 tests for Ferrari and Alfa Romeo next week.
"We want to understand his potential," Camilleri told Sky Italia.
"He has shown to be strong and we are giving him an opportunity. He has been part of the family since he was born. Let's see. One step after another."
Verstappen, whose father Jos also raced in F1, said the Schumacher name is a boost.
"If he does things right, a surname like that is only positive," he told De Telegraaf.
Verstappen admitted that it is a unique situation for Schumacher, given his father's fame and success and the fact that the racing legend is not present to witness Mick's rise as he recovers from brain injuries sustained in a 2013 skiing accident.
"Of course that is difficult for Mick," Verstappen said.
"There is a lot of media attention, but I think he has good people around him who protect him.
"It says a lot that he can test and is in the Ferrari talent programme. If he does a good F2 season, more doors will open for him."
Schumacher qualified tenth for his first Formula 2 race.
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.