mick schumacher
Cayce Clifford

In his second season with Haas F1 Team, Mick Schu­macher seems more comfortable driving out from under his dad’s enormous shadow. (This interview was conducted before the Hungarian Grand Prix in July, long before it was announced Schumacher would be replaced by Nico Hulkenberg in 2023. - Ed.)

This story originally appeared in Volume 13 of Road & Track.


Road & Track: This is your second season of F1, and you have thrived in the second season of every series you’ve raced. You’ve scored your first points; the car is great.

Mick Schumacher: My second year has been pretty good most of the time. But I would say that usually my first years haven’t been awful.

R&T: No one’s saying they were awful!

MS: Unfortunately, I was sometimes unlucky [in the first season], and that made it look like the second year was extremely good. Last year was quite special. We had a bad car and still managed to get into Q2. We got close to points at times, and obviously this year is very different in terms of the overall situation. It’s very hard to compare them. Imagine how the third year will look!

R&T: There’s more interest in F1 now than ever. What do you think of how the sport has grown?

MS: The demand is huge at the moment, the biggest it’s been in a long time. Partly I would say it’s because of Netflix making it much more of a fan-friendly environment for people who maybe don’t understand the sport or haven’t been in the sport for long. They are now able to watch the sport without having to wonder what we are doing. I think we’re on a very good wave, and hopefully we’ll be able to stay there for a long time. I think everything comes to a moment where it changes. And I think we’re set to anticipate that moment, to keep growing, and keep making it interesting—and maybe not overkill it by throwing 40 races at it—and try to make it enjoyable for people to watch and bring a suspenseful moment to it. ­Formula 1 usually has that by nature, because you have humans racing in machines against each other.

R&T: Have you watched Drive to Survive?

MS: Every episode I wasn’t in.

R&T: Why’s that?

MS: Well, most of my friends that watched it said I wasn’t in it much. That’s all right. I don’t like seeing myself on-screen. I don’t see myself as a celebrity or whatever. I feel like I’m still 12 at times.

R&T: F1’s regulations are going to change in 2026. With free and full control over what the next car is, what’s your dream machine?

MS: Don’t do that. It’s going to be completely different. It’s going to bring my hopes up. I’d probably make it as light as I could. So, early-2000s-type weight, which is like 250 kilos lighter compared to right now. And make it still a ground-effect car. Probably put a V-10 into it or a V-8, depending which one’s more efficient. And I’d try to get more tire manufacturers on board—at least three—and try to have more engine manufacturers as well.

R&T: So you want a 2004 car with ground effects?

MS: Something like that.

R&T: With second-generation drivers, fans naturally want to judge the current driver by the standards set by their father. How do you keep comparisons with your dad in perspective?

MS: I invite it. I am more than happy to get compared to my dad. He’s obviously the best, and he will always be the best. I always want to be compared to the best. I’m fortunate to be able to be compared to him. So yeah, I definitely take it onboard, cherish it, and take it as a huge compliment and something that motivates me.

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