Schu­macher eyes F3 ti­tle, F1 ‘su­per li­cence’

Mick Schu­macher is poised to em­u­late the ex­ploits of his fa­mous fa­ther and claim his first F3 ti­tle this week­end - and take a likely step to­ward For­mula One

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Sports -

AF­TER nine of 10 rounds, Mick Schu­macher, the teenage son of stricken seven-time F1 world cham­pion Michael Schu­macher, leads the ju­nior F3 driv­ers’ cham­pi­onship by 49 points with 25 more up for grabs in each of the fi­nal three races this week­end at the Hock­en­heim cir­cuit, near Hei­del­berg. The 19-year-old Ger­man is stay­ing calm ahead of the races - two on Satur­day (8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. GMT) and one on Sun­day (8 a.m. GMT) - on the Ger­man cir­cuit.

“I will still go one step at a time and only look from race to race,” in­sisted Schu­macher ju­nior. His fa­ther has not made a pub­lic ap­pear­ance since suf­fer­ing se­ri­ous head in­juries in a ski­ing ac­ci­dent in De­cem­ber 2013 and is re­cov­er­ing at the fam­ily home in Switzer­land.

The Schu­macher name has brought a huge amount of me­dia at­ten­tion to the F3 cir­cuit and the young driver for the Prema Theodore Rac­ing team.

“It opens doors, but you still have to prove what you can do,” said Schu­macher, who has taken con­trol of the driv­ers’ cham­pi­onships with five straight wins and a sec­ond place in his last six races. More podium places this week­end would hand young Schu­macher his first ma­jor ti­tle - and open the door to rac­ing in F1.

A top-two fin­ish in the fi­nal F3 stand­ings would see Schu­macher qual­ify for a FIA ‘su­per li­cence,’ a pre­req­ui­site for the jump to F1. Schu­macher has never made a se­cret of his am­bi­tion to fol­low in his fa­mous fa­ther’s foot­steps.

“I fo­cus on my­self and do not look at the other driv­ers, every­one has their own de­vel­op­ment, so you can’t com­pare,” he told Agence France-Presse (AFP) sub­sidiary SID in 2017.

Hav­ing stood on the podium af­ter 12 of the 27 races this sea­son, Schu­macher Ju­nior has been im­pres­sive in the last nine races, fin­ish­ing in the top three on eight oc­ca­sions.

His 2018 cam­paign re­ally took off af­ter his first win this sea­son in July on Bel­gium’s Spa cir­cuit, a track where his fa­ther won the F1 Grand Prix a record six times.

Sep­a­rately, when Michael Schu­macher won his sev­enth For­mula One world cham­pi­onship with Fer­rari in 2004 it looked like a record for the ages, but Lewis Hamil­ton and Mer­cedes are forc­ing a re­think al­ready. The Bri­ton stands on the brink of be­com­ing only the third man to win at least five ti­tles, with his team’s stran­gle­hold on both cham­pi­onships tighter than ever af­ter he won Sun­day’s Ja­pa­nese Grand Prix.

The 33-year-old has a con­tract un­til the end of 2020 and a team mate in Valt­teri Bot­tas who has proved more beat­able and ac­qui­es­cent than pre­de­ces­sor and 2016 world cham­pion Nico Ros­berg. A change of en­gine rules that might shake things up is not due un­til 2021, at the ear­li­est. Hamil­ton’s record al­ready bears com­par­i­son to Schu­macher’s, and in some ar­eas ex­ceeds the great Ger­man’s achieve­ments. Satur­day brought the Bri­ton a record-ex­tend­ing 80th pole from 225 starts, com­pared to Schu­macher’s 68 in 307 races. Sun­day was Hamil­ton’s 71st win, 20 short of the for­mer Fer­rari great’s 91.

A top-two fin­ish in the fi­nal F3 stand­ings would see Mick Schu­macher qual­ify for a FIA ‘‘su­per li­cence,’’ a pre­req­ui­site for the jump to F1.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Turkey

© PressReader. All rights reserved.