Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel have both voiced their support for Mick Schumacher on the eve of his official Formula 1 debut in FP1 at the Nurburgring.
Formula 2 championship leader Schumacher will drive the Alfa Romeo of fellow Ferrari Driver Academy member Antonio Giovinazzi in the Friday morning session, in what are expected to be tricky cold and wet conditions.
Schumacher is following in the footsteps of FDA graduate Charles Leclerc, who gained FP1 experience with Sauber in 2017 before landing a race seat with the Swiss team in 2018.
Leclerc also won the F2 title in 2017 with Prema, for whom Schumacher currently races, prior to his promotion to F1.
Given the likelihood of a tricky wet session Leclerc said that Schumacher has nothing to prove after showing so well in F2 in recent weeks.
“Looking at the conditions of this weekend, it’s probably not the easiest of debuts,” says Leclerc. “But speaking to him, I think every time he tried a new car, it was always in the rain. So it won’t change much for him.
“It is going to be a tricky session. But he doesn’t have to prove anything.
“I think he has proved everything he had to in F2 this season. And I’m sure he will do a great job tomorrow.”
Vettel, who was mentored by Schumacher’s father Michael early in his career, believes that the German driver has done enough to land an F1 race seat in 2021.
“I think he deserves his shot this weekend,” said Vettel.
“And hopefully we see him not only tomorrow, but hopefully another Friday this year.
“And then hopefully in the car in a race seat next year. I think that’s what I wish for him.
“Obviously he’s having a great season, he’s leading the F2 championship, and as I said, I hope he can seal the seat for next year.
“I think he’s a great kid. I really like him. And I’m sure he’s going to go a long way and do well. So this is probably just a sort of kick-off for him.”