Mick Schumacher drove his first modern Formula 1 car on Tuesday at the first in-season F1 test of 2019. Although nothing has been confirmed by either party—and most likely nothing will for a long time—the arrival of Schumacher Jr. at the Scuderia is almost imminent considering his performance and active role in the Ferrari Driver Academy.
Schumacher, a current FIA Formula 2 driver for Prema Powerteam, is the son of celebrated F1 champion Michael Schumacher and the winner of the 2018 FIA Formula 3 Euro championship. Rather than use his family name as a crutch for his career, Schumacher has encouraged comparisons between him and his father and asked that the racing world to hold him to as high a standard as it did his father.
His promising development resulted first in his promotion to a full-time seat at the reputable Prema Powerteam for this year's F2 season, and later, in his signing with the Ferrari Driver Academy (a talent development program). As part of the Scuderia Ferrari organization, Schumacher received the opportunity to test two modern F1 cars at this week's Bahrain test. The first of these two was the Scuderia's 2019 car, the SF90, in which Charles Leclerc nearly won this year's Bahrain Grand Prix.
Schumacher will return to the track Wednesday to drive the Alfa Romeo C38, which has scored two points finishes in two races this season in the hands of Kimi Räikkönen. Despite his excitement to test both the Ferrari and Alfa Romeo F1 cars, Schumacher was not distracted from performing well at his first F2 race in Bahrain, where he achieved two points finishes, placing him eighth in the championship standings.
"It was very exciting and amusing," Schumacher said to Autosport, recalling his reaction to receiving the testing opportunity. "Obviously I'm very happy about the whole thing, but for now my focus is on F2."
Schumacher is not the only current F2 driver trying on an F1 car at the Bahrain test. Jack Aitken (ninth in F2 standings) will get some laps in the Renault R.S.19 on Wednesday and Nicholas Latifi (second in F2 standings) will try on the Williams FW42. F3 driver Dan Ticktum will join them on-track in the Red Bull RB15.
Most of the test days' driving will be done by current or recent F1 drivers, which on Wednesday included Fernando Alonso, who drove a McLaren MCL34 as a Pirelli test car. Alonso, who will again race the Indianapolis 500 this year, remains tied to the McLaren organization and is rumored to consider a return to F1 if McLaren returns to competitive form.