Ferrari has formally announced that Mick Schumacher, the son of seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher, has joined its young driver academy.
Schumacher Jr.won last year’s FIA European Formular 3 title and will step up to Formular 2 for 2019, but has previously been unaffiliated with any F1 team or manufacturer which has previously produced racers such Jules Bianchi and charles Leclerc. Leclerc will become the first Ferrari Driver Academy graduate to its full F1 team in 2019.
Ferrari issued a statement on Saturday confirming Schumacher had become a full Ferrari Driver Academy member ahead of the 2019 season, when he will race for Prema in F2.
“Mick, who will be racing in the 2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship, from next week will be taking part in the pre- season preparation activities with fellow FDA drivers,” the statement from Ferrari reads.
“The other 2019 FDA drivers are Giuliano Alesi and Callum Ilott, who will race in Formula 2 too, Marcus Armstrong and Robert Shwartzman, racing in FIA Formula 3, Enzo Fittipaldi, racing in FIA Formula Regional (Europe), and Gianluca Petecof in FIA Formula 4 (Italy and Germany).”
Mick’s father claimed five of his seven F1 world championships during a 10-year stint with Ferrari, becoming the most successful driver in F1 history in the process.
“I am thrilled that Ferrari has entered a partnership with me and my next future in motorsport will be in red, being part of the Ferrari Driver Academy and also of the Scuderia Ferrari Family,” Schumacher said.
“Again, this is another step forward in the right direction, and I can only profit from the immense amount of expertise bundled there. Be sure I will make everything to extract whatever helps me achieve my dream, racing in Formula 1.
“It is more than obvious that Ferrari has a big place in my heart since I was born and also in the hearts of our family, so I am delighted on a personal level about this opportunity as well.
“At this stage it is however also time to say thank you to my family, friends and partners who supported me all along and helped me arrive at this point.”
Mattia Binotto, team principal of Scuderia Ferrari, said: “For someone like me who has known him from birth, there’s no doubt that welcoming Mick into Ferrari has a special emotional meaning, but we have chosen him for his talent and the human and professional qualities that have already distinguished him despite his young age.”
With confirmation of the Ferrari Driver Academy line-up for 2019, Guan Yu Zhou and Antonio Fuoco have both been dropped from the programme.