Bernie Ecclestone is not entirely sure if being a part of the Ferrari Driver Academy has been of much benefit to Mick Schumacher. The son of Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher will make his debut in Formula 1 with grid backmarkers Haas and has next to no hopes of scoring points in his debut season.
"It’s difficult to say what he [Mick Schumacher] can show this season. The test didn’t really show it,” Ecclestone said.
“He has a big problem anyway. He has the burden of a big name to carry. It’s not an easy thing to do. People will say, ‘He’s not as good as his father’. So we should wait and see."
“On top of that, he has an even bigger handicap with the car he drives. It’s certainly not among the best cars. But sometimes these things are good. Sometimes there is a hard time and then you can develop from it.
“I feel sorry for him because he has great qualities that he could achieve more with than with the people where he is now.
“I’m not sure he can learn that much there. He won’t have anyone there who can teach him much. He’s very much on his own.
“A team like Red Bull [who have been better], a team that has the skills to win races and has people in the team who can help him do exactly that. His record in Formula 2 was great. It’s not going to be that easy in his current team.”
Mick Schumacher will do the best he can: Bernie Ecclestone
When quizzed on whether he feels Mick Schumacher can be a future world champion, Ecclestone said," You can’t predict with anyone whether they have the potential to be a world champion."
“But one thing is for sure: Mick Schumacher will do the best he can. His performance so far has been very, very good.
“He has always delivered in the other series. So there is no reason why he should not become World Champion.
“But I just want to see him in a team that cares about him, that gives him a car that he can be world champion with. Even people like Hamilton couldn’t win a race if they didn’t have a car that was at that level. So Mick Schumacher will certainly have a way to go."
“I don’t know Mick very well. I’ve met him a few times, but never close enough to really know him. But I think he has already inherited a lot of his father’s genius. I’ll be very disappointed if we don’t see some great performances from him in the future.”
It may seem bizarre to you when the driver you beat just before graduating to Formula 1 is in a much better car than you.
But that is exactly what has happened with Mick Schumacher as Yuki Tsunoda, the driver he defeated in Formula 2 last year, will be driving for a formidable midfield team in Alpha Tauri.
It is interesting to wonder whether the Red Bull Driver Academy could have been a better proposition for Mick Schumacher.