Wednesday, December 1

From Michael to Mick: 30 years since Schumacher’s debut at Spa-Francorchamps

Mick Schumacher, in the press room of the Belgian circuit Spa-Francorchamps.

Mick Schumacher, in the press room of the Belgian circuit Spa-Francorchamps.

A month ago at Silverstone Mick Schumacher got on the old green Jordan 191 with which his father, the great Michael Schumacher, debuted in the Formula 1 30 years ago. It was an unforgettable moment for the young German driver, who made his World Championship debut this season with the most modest car on the grid, the Haas, after winning the F2 title last year.

The premiere of papa Michael with that Jordan was precisely in Spa-Francorchamps. He was 22 years old, just the same age Mick is now, physically ‘nailed’ to his father.

The Kaiser ‘began his legend already in his first Belgian Grand Prix, where he managed to stand out despite his youth and inexperience, ranking seventh. Bertrand Gachot was supposed to drive the car in Spa, but was arrested in London after starring in an altercation with a taxi driver. Willi Weber, Michael’s manager, convinced Mercedes to pay for his debut and pay the 127,000 euros that Eddie Jordan was asking for to replace Gachot. This is how the debut of Michael Schumacher was created. From there to Benetton and then to Ferrari to forge a historic 306 Grand Prix track record including 91 victories and seven world titles.

Mick was excited to pilot his father’s Jordan at Silverstone, but acknowledges that this weekend will be even “more special”. They keep reminding you. Despite his youth, he maturely assumes the inevitable comparisons. You know you must be patient. That things are now very different than in the 1991 Belgian GP. That at the wheel of the Haas, his only mission is to learn, waiting to climb to a more competitive team. He is sponsored by Ferrari. And the surname supports him. The rest has to be put by him.

Leave your mark on the track

“By the time I signed up to debut in F1 in 2021 I already knew they would be fulfilled 30 years since my father’s debut. It’s actually crazy to think that he started at exactly the same age that I am now. And in this impressive circuit of Spa. Obviously, it is a different time. The world is different now, but still nostalgia is there and I’m very happy about it“, resume Mick.

“Es a special moment for me and my family, so I am very happy to leave my mark on this track as well. I hope we can get an ace up our sleeve. Spa is my favorite circuit. It was where I achieved my first victory in Formula 3 in 2018 and also my first pole that year ”, recalled the German driver.

In the crazy race in Hungary, before the summer break, Mick achieved his best F-1 result to date (12th), but under normal conditions he must focus on finishing ahead of his teammate Mazepin. The hard ‘toll’ that the youngsters on the grid have to deal with today at a time when tests have been reduced to a minimum.

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