For Mick Schumacher, the 2019 FIA Formula 2 season was one of great expectations, as the Formula 3 European champion competed in his debut season for Formula One’s premier feeder series.
Driving for the Prema Powerteam in which he has enjoyed no shortage of success, Schumacher enjoyed a strong start to the season with a double points finish in the opening round in Bahrain before a fifth place finish in Baku next out. A difficult mid-season run followed, before a return to form saw the German cap off a fine run of points with a maiden victory in Hungary.
“Obviously we’ve learned a lot,” said Schumacher, when reviewing his season on Prema’s Twitter feed. “This year has been I think quite a lot of up and downs but in general I think that the car itself is an interesting car. It’s different to everything else I’ve driven before. It’s the heaviest by far that I’ve driven, so it is a different way of driving, a different philosophy so I feel like I’ve understood the best part of it by now.
“Reliability-wise, its been a difficult season. We had quite a few issues, mainly in Race 1 which obviously affects the whole weekend. Myself, I have done a few mistakes as well. There’s always a part of a season when it shouldn’t happen, but it does.”
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Of course, Schumacher’s maiden victory at the Hungaroring stands out as the particular highlight of the season, and further points followed at Monza and Abu Dhabi. Yet, ever the humble perfectionist, Schumacher is just as quick to reflect on his own mistakes, as much as the landmark moment of his F2 career to date.
“Winning is always something special even though it was a reverse grid, but a win is a win. We had a very good weekend in the Red Bull Ring. Effectively, due to a technical issue in Race 1, we didn’t get off the line so we had to start from the pit lane. But then we showed great speed in the first race and then I had to start nearly last in the second race but nearly finished on the podium. So that was something very exciting, very cool, because it showed our potential. We had Monza, driving in front of the Tifosi was something very interesting and nice, something I haven’t experienced like that before. Also there, I think we had the speed to be on the podium and unfortunately we didn’t manage to but I think it was also one of our highlights.
“The most annoying thing for me this season is my mistakes that I’ve done, because the mistakes I have done were silly and avoidable. So, I think that with the things we’ve done like spinning in Baku, where we had great pace, it was just unnecessary. We had a good position and we could have got a great result. And, you know, once you’re in this mood of having good race after race, you just follow through the whole season.”
Being the son of a seven-time Formula One champion also brings with its fair share of expectations, allied to the fact that every media outlet wants a piece of him. But, as Prema Powerteam boss Rene Rosin told Motorsport Tech on behalf of the team’s tech partner, Acronis, he has a great team around him to help keep his feet firmly planted on the ground.
“He honestly has a pretty good team of people around him to handle all this kind of stuff,” said Rosin. “That’s important, because it allows us to concentrate on the racing and everything from a team point of view. All the other aspects are managed pretty well by Mick’s entire team, which we are dealing with well because we have an amazing relationship with all of them – everything is managed so well that we’re not worried about it.
“How good can Mick become? Everybody writes their own story, everyone has their own future and their own past. What Mick has shown last year in Formula 3 is that he did an amazing job, had an amazing season to bring home the title with us and he can also do an amazing job in Formula 2. We just need a little time to put it all together and I think he’ll do an amazing job.”