Mick Schumacher, who last year won his first Formula 4 race, made his international racing debut yesterday driving at the MRF Championships in Chennai, finishing the race on the podium in third.
The teenager debuted in India in the final round of the MRF Challenge series in Irungattukottai, outside Chennai, and took 3rd in the final round of the race, which was one of four – with the other three legs held in Dubai, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.
Schumacher started the race off strongly, but dropped to 6th at one point. He managed to make a strong comeback to finish with a podium spot, in a form reminiscent of his father, who pulled off some spectacular saves in his time, coming from near the back of the grid to take podiums and wins.
The 16-year-old, who eventually aims to join Formula One, will be under immense pressure as the son of perhaps the most legendary racer in the sport. Michael Schumacher won 7 World Championships and 91 races – more than any other driver in the history of the sport.
The Red Baron, as he came to be known for his immense successes with Ferrari, the team with which he spent the most significant and fruitful part of his career, also holds the record for the most race wins in a single season.
He often started races from the front of the grid – but at the 1995 Belgian Grand Prix at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Schumacher began the race bringing up the rear in 16th position – and managed to win the race.
Michael Schumacher continues to be in recovery and rehabilitation following injuries sustained in a skiing accident in Meribel, in the French Alps, in December 2013. The 7-time champion, an experienced skiier, went off piste and hit a boulder, suffering serious head injuries that saw him placed in a medically induced coma, which he was brought out of later the following year.
Details surrounding his recovery have been sparse, with manager Sabine Kehm releasing sporadic information as to the driver’s condition. For now, he is said to be undergoing intense rehabilitation provided by round-the-clock carers at the Schumacher family home in Switzerland.
A German tabloid last year broke news alleging Schumacher had begun to walk with the aid of care workers, but these rumours were dismissed by Kehm, who also manages Mick.
At his 2015 Formula 4 debut, Schumacher was adjudged best rookie at Oschersleben, Germany, driving for Dutch side van Amersfoort Racing.
Schumacher Junior is now poised for a move to Formula 3, and is said to be in the final stages of a deal with Prema Powerteam, a junior Ferrari outfit.
That signing will be a sentimental one for the teenager and his family, considering the Schumacher name in itself has now become almost synonymous with both Formula One and Scuderia Ferrari.