Michael Schumacher's son Mick Schumacher will make his much-anticipated F1 debut with Haas in the 2021 season. As expected, there is a lot of hype around him as the famed Schumacher name will be back on the grid.
The questions that may need an answering though, are - what to expect from Mick in his debut season? How will the junior Schumacher fare while driving a Haas, which is arguably one of the slowest cars on the grid?
More importantly, how good is he? Is he here because he's earned it or just because he's a Schumacher?
How good is Mick Schumacher?
To know how good Mick Schumacher actually is, we need to look back at his career in junior categories. Mick was a permanent fixture in the karting scene when he was young. But he really started making a name for himself when he put together a sensational season in the F3 category, and beat Dan Ticktum on his way to the title.
That was the first time Mick caught the eye of the Formula One world. A closer look revealed that although he had a largely listless rookie season in F3, Mick came back to win the title in his second season comfortably.
He followed the same trend when he stepped up a series to F2. Mick had a relatively poor performance in his maiden season but came back in the second year to win the championship against Callum Illot.
In short, Mick Schumacher comes to F1 after winning all the significant junior categories he has raced in, something not many on the grid can boast about.
Mick Schumacher is expected to come alive in his second season at Haas
At Haas, Mick is teamed up with another rookie in Nikita Mazepin — a driver he has raced against and beaten in junior categories. Although he should be expected to beat Mazepin, Mick usually takes a year to get completely acclimatized to a new category. It's usually in his second series where he comes into his own.
In Formula One as well, one can expect Mick Schumacher to take a year to get used to the new structure, and then be really competitive in the second season.
The best thing would be to keep the expectations low and let Mick Schumacher learn his craft in his rookie season. The second year would be the one when the true caliber of Mick would be on display.
The 21-year-old will bring a lot of attention to the sport but will he prove to be as good as his father? We'll just have to wait and see.