Sixth sense as Mick Schumacher hits track again in Bahrain test

Mick Schumacher made his long-awaited Formula One debut in Bahrain on Tuesday as he began the in-season test for Ferrari.

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto agrees: "It's really fun to work with Mick".

On a surprisingly wet day at the same track where his father won the first grand prix in the Middle East with Ferrari 15 years ago, Schumacher was 0.597 seconds slower than the 21-year-old Dutchman. "It felt like home in the garage from the very first moment with a lot of people that know me since I was very young", the 20-year-old said.

"The SF90 is incredible because of the power it has, but it is also smooth to drive, and that's why I enjoyed myself so much", Mick Schumacher said.

By the end of his first day in an F1 vehicle, he had run up a total of 56 laps, which is roughly equivalent to a full race.

"I was feeling like I could even brake at the 50-metre board at Turn 1, but obviously that's not possible".

Ferrari Academy driver Schumacher made his F2 debut over the weekend with the Prema team and is relishing the opportunities ahead to continue his development.

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso completed his brief return to F1 with another 69 laps of tyre testing. Ferrari was the team with which his father won five consecutive world championships between 2000 and 2004.

Russell tested with champions Mercedes a year ago, setting a track record in Hungary in August, and enjoyed being back up to speed with a best lap of 1:29.029 at the Sakhir circuit.

Reports had emerged from Italy on Tuesday suggesting that Ferrari were preparing to part with Sebastian Vettel in order to take on Schumacher full-time to drive alongside Charles Leclerc.

Mick Schumacher has followed his famous father into the seat of an F1 Ferrari.

"The way he has developed in the last years, he deserves where he is now".

Schumacher senior has not been seen in public since he suffered severe head injuries in a skiing accident in the French Alps in December 2013. Another Briton, George Russell, was last on the timesheets for Williams but will test for Mercedes on Wednesday.

The F2 season got underway alongside the second F1 Grand Prix of the season at Bahrain over the weekend. He has been clear he wants to help the team develop the auto and has not ruled out a return to F1. He completed 64 laps, was 11th fastest and he was impressed with this year's model.

Following his European Formula 3 title a year ago, Mick Schumacher made his Formula 2 debut on the same track at the weekend, finishing eighth and sixth in the two races.

"Well obviously it's a step forward in every aspect of the auto", he said.

  • Steve Townsend