How do I prepare for ZCO 1

Formula 1: Mick Schumacher exclusive

Schumacher is not afraid of Hamilton and Co.

In an interview with AUTO BILD, Mick Schumacher talks about his special relationship with wheeled vehicles, his father Michael and his first Formula 1 season.
Mr. Schumacher, you are driving your first Formula 1 season with the American Haas team this year. The question arises: what role do cars play in your life?
Mick Schumacher (21):
A big one, of course. It starts with all the formula cars that I have already driven on my way to Formula 1. I especially enjoy working with the cars, for example that they can be converted, so they can be adapted to any route. When it comes to road cars, I always try to be able to recognize them purely from the sound of the engine.
I beg your pardon? Do you know which car is passing by with your eyes closed just because you can hear the engine?
At least the brands. Many can do that. A Ferrari always sounds different to a Mercedes.
What are you driving privately at the moment?
An Alfa.
Are you more of a petrolhead who always likes loud, powerful engines or are you also very open to electromobility?
Both. I've driven a lot of different cars. Electromobility has advantages and disadvantages. It definitely makes sense in the city. But I also often use my bike there. On the other hand, I prefer to cover longer distances of 600 kilometers or more with conventional cars, also because you don't have to look for charging stations that often. We are definitely going through a very interesting phase, also with regard to the further development of hydrogen. I'm looking forward to the technical future.
What was your first set of wheels?
A go-kart that I drove when I was two and a half years. There were cross tires on them so I could drive around the garden. I sat so deep in the seat that only my helmet was visible. So I was still completely in the seat. When I was three or four years old, quads were added. So I was always on the road with engines from a very early age.
The direction was given. Nevertheless: Why did you decide to turn your passion into a profession and become a professional racing driver?
Because I had and still have a lot of fun racing. As a child it wasn't that serious at first, but at some point we got into the international kart series, including world championships. Actually, it was already clear to me that I wanted to become a racing driver and not just want to do racing as a hobby.
What role does the love of speed play in this?
Feeling the speed at the limit is an extremely great feeling. It is extremely satisfying to know that you have just taken a corner at the limit. If you are also the fastest of them all, then the feeling is perfect. Not just in a corner, but a whole lap and a whole race. All of this combined is motorsport for me. And at the top of it is Formula 1.
Do you immediately feel that you have hit the perfect corner?
Yes. It's hard to describe, but you can tell. Because you didn't feel any flaws, as if you had ridden the perfect wave. Such a feeling is very lasting, it lasts for a long time. And it makes me happy.
Why is Formula 1 the tip of the iceberg, the premier class in racing?
Because of the speed. In Formula 2 we had 620 hp, the car weighed 750 kilos, so it was relatively heavy. It's a very good class to learn. For example, how the driving behavior changes if you drive too close behind another car and turbulence occurs. In the end, you have to be able to apply everything you have learned in the junior categories in Formula 1. In Formula 1, the limit is extremely small. If you drive a curve too slowly, you lose time. But it's also very quick to be over the limit. Then you turn. Finding this perfect balance is what makes Formula 1 so difficult and fascinating at the same time.
Which is more important: pure talent or quick learning? What is the perfect racing driver made of?
Talent is an important part. But you also have to be willing to sacrifice everything and work extremely hard. You have to be willing to work with people and develop a leadership mentality in the process. All of this together makes the perfect racing driver.
What was particularly noticeable in the junior classes was that you made extremely good overtaking maneuvers. You often take your opponents off guard. Is there a special secret of success for overtaking?
I think you have to listen to your instincts and drive by feeling. Thinking too much is of no use when overtaking. Then you are always that one decisive step backwards. You just have to do it at the right moment. This behavior has always helped me in all categories so far.
With all your instincts: You have often watched videos from previous races, including your father’s, used the videos for study purposes and paid particular attention to overtaking maneuvers ...
... yes, because you have to know in advance before or in which corners overtaking is possible. An example: If you overtake before a bend followed by a long straight, it doesn't make much sense. Because then you will be overtaken yourself again and so lose more time than gaining it. The point is that, like in chess, you always have to think a few moves ahead.
Does it also matter to always know who is sitting in the car that you want to overtake or that you have to defend against?
Yes, that is also part of it. I already know most of the drivers. And, of course, knowing their driving style is an advantage. Knowing which driver is more likely to risk a lot or which is more hesitant.
In Formula 1, the best of the best drive. Your opponents this season will be Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen or Sebastian Vettel. The crème de la crème. Do you have more respect?
That's why I watch races. I already know how the current drivers react in certain situations. As for respect: in the end, it's only drivers and people who want the same thing as me.
What result would you be satisfied with after your first season?
I want to see improvement over the season. I want to see that I worked very well with the team. Asking now about the expectations of results is difficult. I have to be realistic and not think that I can already race for the World Cup. Even if it's in my DNA to think that way. I always want to get the most out of it, this attitude has to be.
Back to the cars: you not only drove the current Formula 1 cars, but also old ones. Like your father's 1994 Benetton or his 2004 Ferrari. Which was more fun?
The Benetton was a thoroughbred racing car. There were few buttons on the steering wheel, hardly any driving aids. It was pure driving. If something didn't work at the time, you couldn't do anything and just stood still. The Ferrari was more complicated: It was more like today. Not only did you have to accelerate, you also had to know what was going on behind such a car. Nevertheless, there is still a giant leap forward to today's cars. The Ferrari was a good meter shorter than the current cars. That's why he was much more agile, especially in slow corners. To say which cars I enjoy more, I would have to drive them again with more laps. Of course, the naturally aspirated engines sounded awesome, especially the Ferrari V10.
With all the driving aids and technology of today: Can the driver still make the difference?
Of course, the driver can also have a special effect. He has to control the team better than the other, has to say where the most important points are that need to be improved. That means making the car faster than someone else can. That is exactly my goal.
Her father was a master at bringing a team forward. Did you just copy that? You are still very young to lead a team ...
I just enjoy working with a team. One thing is certain: a driver alone cannot achieve much, but a whole team can. As far as age is concerned: I have already learned a lot in the junior categories and there, too, placed great emphasis on creating a special atmosphere with the engineers.
Your team boss Günther Steiner is an old hand who, with his direct nature, sometimes comes across as rough. He's definitely different from most of the scene ...
Yes. I get along with him very well. He gets straight to the point and doesn't talk about things. It's very work-efficient and I like it a lot.
Her father won seven world titles, as did Lewis Hamilton. Can you already grasp what these services mean?
It is still unimaginable for me. I'm only in my first year. After five years I can definitely say more about it.

Formula 1 on TV

Formula 1 will run at Sky in 2021. The station is setting up its own TV station for the new era: Sky Formula 1. Here there is motorsport 24 hours a day. All training sessions, all qualifying sessions, all races always live and without commercial breaks. Sky also broadcasts the Formula 2, Formula 3 and Porsche Supercup races. The program also includes historical races and special programs. You can find more information here