Prema driver Mick Schumacher and fellow Ferrari Academy driver Callum Ilott will be given their first FP1 outings at the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.
Schumacher, who currently enjoys a healthy 22-point lead over Ilott in the F2 championship standings thanks to a dominant weekend in Sochi, will take the seat of Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo, whilst Ilott will drive for Haas.
— PREMA (@PREMA_Team) September 29, 2020
Robert Shwartzman, who held an early lead in the F2 championship before his fortunes suffered, has also been given the chance to drive in free practice in Abu Dhabi but with the team yet to be disclosed.
“We wanted to organise this test session so that our three best youngsters would be as well prepared as possible to tackle an event that will always be a special moment for them,” commented Ferrari Sporting Director and Driver Academy Director Laurent Mekies.
“It will be a chance to get to grips with a Formula 1 car, which is much more complicated than the car they are currently used to driving.”
My first participation in a F1 weekend will be at the Nürburgring next week. Super happy and can‘t wait to drive in front of my home crowd. A big thank you to @insideFDA @ScuderiaFerrari and @alfaromeoracing for this opportunity! #F1 #EifelGP pic.twitter.com/rgYz9mJX5U
— Mick Schumacher (@SchumacherMick) September 29, 2020
With all three drivers impressing in the F2 championship in 2020, the latest news puts the F1 driver market rumour mill into overdrive, with seats thought to be available both at Alfa Romeo and Haas. Schumacher is already thought to be odds on for one of the Alfa seats, possibly under the wing of the longest-serving F1 driver in Kimi Raikkonen.
It would surely be a win-win scenario, with Schumacher not under the same amount of pressure to deliver against an F1 champion in his debut season, as having to prove himself against Giovinazzi from the offset.
All three drivers will not go into the F1 weekend cold, however, as they will re-acclimatise themselves to the vagaries of an F1 car behind the wheel of the 2018 SF71H Ferrari at the Fiorano test track on Wednesday.
Extremely happy to be given the chance to drive a @F1 car for the 1st time tomorrow! I have been dreaming of this since I was a kid. Massive thanks to @ScuderiaFerrari for making this dream come true & giving me this incredible opportunity. Papa I wish you were here to see it. pic.twitter.com/0jIVmzohew
— Robert Shwartzman (@ShwartzmanRob) September 29, 2020
“I would like to thank Haas and Alfa Romeo Racing for offering Callum, Mick and Robert this opportunity,” added Mekies. “We believe strongly in our Academy, which has already proved its value, with Charles Leclerc, a driver on which the Scuderia can build its long term future. Callum, Mick and Robert have already proved their worth in the current Formula 2 season and this test is a further step in their education.”