Michael Schumacher's former Benetton teammate Johnny Herbert says that the 2020 Formula 2 season will be huge for son of the seven-time champion, Mick Schumacher, if he is to be successful in stepping up to Formula One.
To say that Mick Schumacher had an underwhelming debut season in F2 would hardly be an understatement. Having demolished the the field in the second half of the 2018 Formula 3 European Championship en-route to the title, his only in car racing, the 20-year-old German scored only one win in F2 in 2019.
“It’s probably an important season this year,” said Herbert during a press gathering at Autosport International. “If you stay there [F2] for too long, if you do a four-year stint which has happened a couple of times; for people like [Pastor] Maldonado and [Jolyon] Palmer, it hasn’t really turned into anything particularly brilliant.
“He has to do it, in my eyes, this year.”
Reviewing the performances of Schumacher across the year, Herbert continued, “Nothing that I would class as startling like we saw with Lando [Norris] and George [Russell]. His race win in Hungary was very well controlled, very mature in the way that he was able to look after his tyres and the manner he did but keep the pace he needed to. I know it was a reverse grid so he was on pole position, but it was a good win.
“In my experience, when you have a win like that, you’re confidence grows. You go to the next race and actually, your performance goes up. [With Schumacher] his performance didn’t go up. He was around seventh, eighth.
“It was his first season, but all of the guys that make a statement in the lower Formulas go in and go bang! It’s the George and Lando situation and past drivers have also done the same thing.
“[He was] good, but needs improvement. I know Ferrari have said that he’s an ‘option’ and all of that sort of thing. It’s a bit early for Mick on that front, but his demeanour is very good. He’s a very nice young man and they’ve brought him on in a very nice way.
“But results speak. That’s the big thing. It was OK what he did when he did the Ferrari-Alfa test and they were OK, but I only heard rumours of what fuel and tyres he was running, so it’s a hard one to properly read.”
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