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Schumacher returns

Mick Schumacher’s famous name may have helped him to accelerate through motor racing’s lower levels, but it will also add pressure when he makes his Formula One debut on Sunday.

Mick, son of seven-time world champion Michael, will drive for US team Haas in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix. Schumacher, 22, earned his chance by winning the Formula Three European championship in 2018 and the Formula Two title in 2020.

His famous name has helped make it easier for Haas to find funding, but the young German’s longer-term career plan seems clear. Mick is part of the academy at Ferrari, where his father won five of his seven world titles.

Haas and Ferrari each pay half of Mick Schumacher’s salary and, if he proves himself, he seems destined to eventually race in the famous red of the Maranello-based company.

“The name Schumacher is a brand, but it is a brand linked to the first name Michael,” Herve Bodinier, a sports marketing professional and Formula 1 expert, told AFP.

“Ferrari and the others are not patrons, Mick will have to write his own story.”

A thick veil of mystery surrounds the current health of Michael Schumacher.

The 52-year-old has not been seen in public since a skiing accident in the French Alps in 2013, witnessed by Mick, left the Formula One legend with severe brain injuries.

Now, 15 years after his father last raced for Ferrari, Mick will bring one of the most famous names in motorsport back to Formula One.

The hype has been building for weeks.

According to a survey, 35 percent of Sky Germany’s subscribers say they will watch more Formula One if Mick Schumacher is at the wheel. —  AFP.

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