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Old 04-04-19, 04:31   #17
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Race Car re: Michael Schumacher Set For Stem Cell Operation Within Days

‘It Felt Like Home’: Mick Schumacher Second in Testing on Maiden F1 Drive. Michael’s Son, Driving for Ferrari, Runs Verstappen Close

It was the first of two days of F1 tests for Schumacher – he drives for Alfa Romeo on Wednesday

The Guardian UK, 3 APR 2019.

Mick Schumacher completed 56 laps for Ferrari in his first F1 outing and was one of only two drivers to put in a lap under 1min 30sec.
Photograph: Jerry Andre/Sutton Images/Rex/Shutterstock

Michael Schumacher’s son, Mick, made a hugely successful debut driving a Formula One car in a test for Ferrari. The 20-year-old completed 56 laps in Bahrain and was the second fastest behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Fernando Alonso also returned to F1, conducting a tyre test for Pirelli in a McLaren at the Sakhir circuit.

Schumacher, who won the F3 championship last season, is a member of the Ferrari driver academy and is racing in F2 this season for the Prema team. He finished eighth and sixth in the opening two races in Bahrain last weekend. Ferrari was the team with which his father won five consecutive world championships between 2000 and 2004.

The youngster took to the Ferrari SF90 for his maiden F1 drive on Tuesday morning on a day when running was interrupted by rain. By the close he was swapping fastest laps with Verstappen, who is 21 but in his fifth season in the sport. The Dutchman’s best time was 1min 29.379sec, with Schumacher’s 0.6sec back. The pair were the only two to register times under 1min 30sec.

Thirteen years after his father last drove for Ferrari, Schumacher said he quickly felt at home with the team and relished his first F1 drive. “I really enjoyed today,” he said. “It felt like home in the garage from the very first moment with a lot of people that have known me since I was very young. 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.

“I was impressed by the braking power an F1 car has. It seemed to me you could brake later and later and the car would have made the turn anyway. I would like to say thank you Ferrari for this incredible opportunity.”

Mick Schumacher is a member of Ferrari’s driver academy and won the F3 championship last season.

Michael Schumacher was severely injured in a skiing accident in 2013 from which he is still in recovery. He won seven world championships but enjoyed his greatest success with Ferrari, for whom he drove between 1996 and 2006.

Schumacher Jr first took to the wheel in karting in 2008. He drove his father’s 1994 title-winning Benetton at Spa in a demonstration last year but Tuesday was his first time in a contemporary F1 car. He will conduct a further test on Wednesday, for Ferrari’s partner team, Alfa Romeo.

Lewis Hamilton, who won the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, completed the most laps, 71, and was sixth fastest. Lando Norris, a superb sixth in the race, was third fastest for McLaren. Another Briton, George Russell, was last on the timesheets for Williams but will test for Mercedes on Wednesday.

Alonso retired from F1 in 2018 but remained as an ambassador and adviser to McLaren and was conducting the Pirelli tyre test in this capacity. He has been clear he wants to help the team develop the car and has not ruled out a return to F1.

It was the first time Alonso had driven an F1 car since last year’s final race at Abu Dhabi. He completed 64 laps, was 11th fastest and he was impressed with this year’s model.

“It’s a step forward in every aspect,” he said. “I think the car has more grip, is less draggy on the straights, and the engine is a bigger step better as well.”

On Wednesday Dan Ticktum, a 19-year-old Londoner, will make his F1 debut when he tests for Red Bull. Ticktum, a member of the Red Bull junior team, was second to Mick Schumacher in the F3 championship last year and will race in Japan’s Super Formula series this season.

Mick Schumacher's First Ferrari Test | Bahrain International Circuit - Following in the footsteps of his illustrious father, the 20-year-old finished second fastest on his first outing for Ferrari at testing in Bahrain.

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