This weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix is set to be Mick Schumacher’s first F1 appearance at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps circuit as the second half of his rookie season begins.
It’s not that the first time Mick Schumacher has driven an F1 car around Spa, however, as he drove his dad’s B194 on a demonstration run four years ago.
The 22-year-old admits it will be a special moment for himself and his family, as it’s 30 years on from his dad making his F1 debut at the Belgian venue. Michael Schumacher qualified a sensational P7 for Jordan that weekend, before retiring on the first lap thanks to a clutch problem.
"Driving my dad's Benetton in 2017 was a great experience," said Schumacher.
"Now, four years later I'm driving in Formula 1 myself and that's 30 years after my dad made his debut. It's a really special moment for me and my family, so very happy to go there and put my mark on that special track too."
Schumacher adds that Spa is his favourite circuit, tasting success with a victory in the 2018 FIA Formula 3 European Championship. He adds that we must keep his former F2 colleague Anthoine Hubert in our hearts; the Frenchman was tragically killed in an accident at Spa two years ago.
"In general, Spa is my favorite track, in any circumstance. For me, coming back to Spa is just great," he said.
"I was there last year and previous years and obviously we've had a lot of ups and downs there. It's definitely one of the most challenging tracks – it's super long, there's a lot of undulation in it, it's very historical and definitely one of the most special weekends that we have on the calendar, so I'm really looking forward to going back.
"Also, having in mind some difficult times but we always keep everyone, especially Anthoine (Hubert), in our hearts when we go there."
The Belgian Grand Prix will be the start of F1’s second triple-header in 2021. Haas boss Guenther Steiner believes these are not avoidable due to the current pandemic that is still playing havoc with the F1 calendar. Australia, Singapore, Canada and Japan have all been shelved for a second straight season.
"Triple-headers aren't avoidable with the pandemic still around," said Steiner.
"Ideally it would be a single race with a week in-between and then the second option would be to have double-headers and one week in-between, but we can't choose this year.
"I think FOM and Stefano are doing a very good job in getting a good calendar together for us and we have to live by it. For sure, it will be a tough second half of the season, but our team is tough, and we will get to the end of it."