Mick Schumacher, Prema, European F3, 2018

Mick Schumacher could go straight from F3 to F1 – Stroll

2018 F1 season

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Lance Stroll says Mick Schumacher could emulate his career move by going straight from Formula Three into Formula 1.

The 19-year-old son of seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher is favourite to clinch the European F3 title with Prema this weekend. F1 motorsport managing director Ross Brawn, who worked with Schumacher during his title-winning years at Ferrari, said last week a move into F2 would be the next “logical step” for Schumacher’s son.

But Stroll, who won the championship with Prema two years ago before graduating straight to F1, believes Mick Schumacher could do the same as him.

Asked by RaceFans whether Schumacher would benefit from racing in F2 before graduating to F1, Stroll said “it’s very driver-dependent.

“I don’t think there’s a right or wrong. Some drivers get a chance to get into Formula 1 and you have to go for it. Other drivers are in different situations. It’s very dependent from driver to driver, everyone has their own unique situation.”

Stroll had the benefit of a special private testing programme using a 2014-specification Williams before making his F1 debut last year.

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“I drove the old car a lot but the step to the new regulations [meant] the new car was, compared to their 2014 car, seven seconds faster,” he said.

Lance Stroll, Williams, Hockenheimring, 2018
F3 to F1 is a “big jump” – Stroll
Coming from F3 to F1 the hardest thing to get used to was not the power but setting up the car and adjusting to F1’s high-degradation tyres, Stroll explained.

“The power you get used to quickly, it’s really how to optimise the car. The tyres also.

“It’s definitely a big jump from Formula Three, you’re looking at like 15 seconds – probably more – 20 seconds of lap time depending on the track. It’s definitely a big jump.”

Stroll said he has been following Schumacher’s progress with his former team. “He’s done a really good job, especially in the second half of the season. Looks like he’s put it all together.

“The championship’s not over yet, I hope he can seal the deal,” Stroll added. “He’s got a pretty good gap. I hope for himself and the team they can finish it.”

Lando Norris, who succeeded Stroll as champion last year, spent this season racing in F2 and will drive for McLaren in F1 next year.

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39 comments on “Mick Schumacher could go straight from F3 to F1 – Stroll”

  1. I agree with Stroll that it’s very much driver-depending whether you can jump from F3 to F1. However, I wonder if Stroll himself thinks it was a good move for him.

    Feeling that he should have moved to F2 in 2017 and at the same time having some FP1 drives.

    1. Maybe Stroll himself thinks it was a good move (when the oppertunity is there, you have to take it), but I think his driving especially last year showed he’d have probably been better off with another year of learning.

      1. Before he got into F1, Stroll talked about the importance of not taking any shortcuts and the danger of arriving too soon. I don’t think skipping F2 did him any favours.

        Look at the difficulties Leclerc had getting up to speed at the beginning of the year even with a full (dominant) season in F2.

        Everywhere you look in F1 – the budgets, the emphasis on car development, the power units – are utterly unlike what drivers are used to from junior categories. A driver like Mick Schumacher from outside the GP3/F2 system hasn’t experienced the unique qualities of Pirelli’s tyres either. And then there’s the particularly circumstances of his background which is going to pile a fearful amount of pressure on his young shoulders.

        All good reasons not to rush things I would say. Not that any of it stopped Stroll.

        1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          11th October 2018, 10:23

          I would go as far as to say he should stay in F3 for the new F3 International Series when it amalgamates with GP3 next year, just to get used to the Pirelli tyres for a year, before jumping up to F2.
          Norris’ struggles this year have shown that the Hankook to Pirelli leap isn’t straightforward, and Mick could risk undoing all the capital he has earned with his impressive F3 push, by needlessly biting off more than he can chew.

        2. There seem to be no bigger shoes to fill than Michael Schumacher’s, Lance has to make his own path, so comparisons don’t seem relevant, Mick Schu’s path is to emulate his Fathers greatness , He’s going to need to be better than Lewis .

    2. @bleu

      I actually think Lance stroll is the worst person to be commenting on the jump from F3 to F1. Let’s face it, Lance isn’t in F1 because of his talent. He’s a pay driver. He seemed completely unprepared for F1 at the start of 2017, and after finally getting to grips with the sport, has shown that he’s still pretty much lacking the skills required by someone who wants to succeed in this sport on merit. A year of F2 would have actually done him some good, and he would have been better prepared for the challenge F1 offers.

      As it’s been mentioned before, F1 is not a training school. You have to arrive here prepared… And F2 is the best possible preparation. If I was Mick, I would rather spend a year in F2 than jump in unprepared in to F1.

      1. That’s all very well, but if you go into F2 and can’t cut it you’ll never get the opportunity to drive F1. Stroll is right when he says you have to take the chance when its offered.

        1. That’s all very well, but if you go into F2 and can’t cut it you’ll never get the opportunity to drive F1.

          You say that’s as if it’s a bad thing? I’d rather F2 weed out the wheat from the chaff, rather than allowing drivers to game the points system and skip key experiences…

        2. I still think it’s better to realise you’re not good enough in F2, and avoid joining F1, as compared to joining F1 and being laughed at. Mick especially wouldn’t want to taint his father’s legacy…

      2. @todfod
        Agreed, Stroll should have done a year in GP2 before F1, but you don’t give up the chance when you get it.

        Button was always saying he wasn’t ready for F1, Kimi, Alonso and a few others as well, but you never say no to an f1 seat do you.

        Before people bag Lance on his thoughts to another drivers path to F1, he was just answering a question from the press. We would love to see Mick In F1, but only when he is ready.

        1. @rodfod very well said.

        2. Before getting in F1 in 2017, Lance got more track time than any actual F1 driver gets during a complete GP season with all its testing restrictions. He drove an older Williams on several rented tracks, all track just for himself. Nobody ever got more dedicated preparation prior to his first F1 season than Lance did.

          1. *cough* Lewis Hamilton?

          2. True. But Lewis delivered, unlike Lance.

  2. What’s the rush?

    F2 (or equivalent) should be mandatory, not an option, to get to F1.

  3. No no, he should go to F2, he should take all the steps, get used to more power gradually, different tyres as well, different package to setup.

    The F2 series is an introduction to F1 in many terms, especially the gummirellis. It’s not only logical it should be mandatory

  4. Nobody wants to emulate Lance Stroll.

    1. Exactly, the last thing i wanna see Schumacher money spent on is paydrivers in F1, what a disgrace that would be.
      Hopefully Mick can get there on his own in the right way but probably not, a name is not the same as skill.

      1. Without their fathers’ names Nico Rosberg, Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve and even Max Verstappen would not have got near F1.

        1. Mmm, however they proved to be decent drivers, better than average at least.

        2. @greenflag

          3 out of the 4 drivers you mentioned are F1 world champions. The one that doesn’t have a championship… will probably go on to be one of the greatest talents of his generation.

          I don’t think your point is incredibly invalid.

          1. That’s why I selected them, because they did well. But they likely only got into F1 because of their names. I could have said Nelson Piquet Jr, Bruno Senna, Michael Andretti; they too got into FI due to their names, and failed.

  5. As much as I want him to turn out to be a great driver and eventually reach the top, he’s been good for half a season. Before that, he hadn’t stood out as anything special.

    That’s not a guy I’d shove straight into F1.

  6. Translation: “If I did it, anybody can”


    1. Jelle van der Meer (@)
      11th October 2018, 17:03

      Well the key word missing there is “Successfully” – yes Stroll did it but doubt anyone would class it as successful.

      There are however examples would were successful like Kimi Raikonnen with not even a full season in any single seater series. More recent is Max Verstappen who did it successfully although I believe even Max could have benefited with first doing F2. That said considering how unbelievable difficult the road to F1 is and that many never make it – who would say NO against getting the opportunity – Max got the offer to drive F1 so then saying NO I will first do F2 is unrealistic.

      Considering pretty much all (good) seats are already taken for 2019 – best for Mick Schumacher is to graduate to F2 instead of going to backmarker in F1. Considering the name benefit, the displayed skill as well as very healthy financial situation and great potiential for marketing I am nearly certain Mick will make it to F1 in next 3 years.

  7. It has all to do with licence points.
    You can’t guarantee how many crashes you’ll be forced to have if you go to the next level this ruining you F1 prospects. The Strolls couldn’t be sure how F2 would work for them as there is usually more serious competition there.
    Now he’s in F1, he can remain there till he gets much better.

  8. “Some drivers get a chance to get into Formula 1 and you have to go for it.”
    For the majority of up and coming drivers that is probably true, but for Stroll and Schumacher (for differing reasons), maybe not so much. Of course a certain amount of skill is required to move up the ladder, but beyond this Stroll was always going to get a ride. A year in F2 would have surely done him some good, and highly unlikely that his ultimate arrival in F1 would have been jeopardized by not jumping at his “chance”. As for Schumacher, he is showing great progress and skill, and hopefully he will continue to hone this with a year in F2. For him it’s a combination of this skill, his family name, and some wealth (in that order?) that pretty much guarantees him a ride in F1 down the road. I doubt that he has to worry about missing out if he doesn’t jump at the first opportunity.

  9. Mick Schumacher, Ocon, Leclerc, Verstappen (plus maybe another to rise from the group Gasly, Norris, Russell). A good future line-up of potential WDCs. Exciting times, especially since the Hamilton Vettel game year on year is getting boring. Hopefully Honda and Renault are able to level the playing field a bit soon.

    1. Schumacher was able to move up in F4 and F3 only in second season and only because all the first year top left those championships. There were a lot of mediocre drivers like him.

      Joey Mawson, for example, was in ADAC F4 same years as Schumacher. But he went straight to 3rd place in first year and dominated second year, outplaying Schumacher.

      Lando Norris has won F3 championship straight out in his first season in 2017, when Schumacher ended up just 12th. Almost all top 10 has left after 2017 season, so he moved up. But he didn’t dominate it. Newer generation is all simply not powerful enough to meet last year generation.

      1. And Dan Ticktum did have had a bit unluck this year in F3, but was a bit more consistent. And it is his first season in F3. He ends up just behind Schumacher.

        So Mick is somewhere in group of Trulli, Heidfeld, Patrese, Massa etc.

  10. Nell (@imabouttogoham)
    11th October 2018, 13:14

    I don’t think he’s ready yet – and I don’t think there’s a team well suited to him. At least not until 2021. Maybe when Vettel finally leaves Ferrari or Bottas with Mercedes…just imagining the salivating tifosi with a Schumacher back in a Ferrari, both a curse and a blessing with Mick.

    Though I have this feeling he’s more like his uncle than his father in terms of speed – good but not 7x WDC great…he would’ve been blitzing F3 otherwise.

  11. I wonder if Daddy Stroll is looking to put Mick in the other car a/so Lance can beat his teammate and b/for the media hype and increased time their car will get on TV.

  12. There is a big difference between “could” and “should” Lance my boy…

  13. If Stroll means that Schumacher Jr. can also pay for his way into F1, then for sure he can; given w/ the wealth Michael amassed during his career.

    It might not be the best move however.

    True you take your chance when it’s presented to you. And no doubt going through the feeder/junior levels does not guarantee a driver will land in F1 (more so succeed, once in it), but it is still probably the best route; Since he can gain experience and have the opportunity to hone his craft. Not only that, but it might even be better for a driver to first spend time racing for a lower ranked team upon entering F1 (especially now that unlimited testing is extinct and being 3rd/test driver hardly offers anything) or spend a season racing in another top-tier professional series (e.g. IndyCar, DTM, WEC, Super Formula); with the primary objective of acclimatizing and adapting to working with fully-fledged professionals in a more structured setting.

    I think guys like Max Verstappen, Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen are the exception(s) rather than the rule; where despite their lack of single seater experience (Raikkonen in 2001, especially) they were able to impress and capture the imagination within their first few races.

  14. Simply from money perspective not doing f2 saves a lot of money. If you want to be f1 driver and you are willing to pay for it then why pay to drive in f2 when in best case scenario it doesn’t really help you as you already have an f1 entry. And in worst case scenario if you don’t finish high enough you don’t have the superlicense points to get into f1. Stroll knew f2 was expensive and a risk. Both mick and stroll have more than enough money to buy an f1 seat. And mick has the surname to go with it as well. If you want to buy a seat in f1 then why buy a seat in f2?

    F1 cars are also easier to drive than ever before. Tons and tons of downforce, lots of grip from big slick tires, fully computer controlled power delivery making wheelspin almost impossible. Gone are the days when you had less downforce, grooved tires and 900hp under your right foot every time you touched the throttle pedal. Nowadays you have twice as much downforce and maybe 600hp most of the time. Once the computer knows you are in a corner where the extra power is allowed and measures you have enough grip it will give you the rest. As far as driving f1 car fast it has never been this easy. The amount of switches on the steering wheel don’t matter. They tell you on radio what modes to use and if you don’t remember the switches they read the manual to you.

    The main focus of f1 driver is driving slow enough to save fuel and tires. And no race series prepares you for that. Only real benefit of f2 is the increased stress and tougher competition.

    In the end I think the question for mick is does he just want to do f1 like stroll. Be f1 driver and do it as a hobby for couple of years. Buy seats, buy teams and pay a lot of money to offset your lack of skill. Or does mick think he can do well in f1? Can he do well against team mates with equal equipment. Can he drive against drivers like massa and beat them convincingly to prove he has what it takes? Mick and his management knows how much of his performance in f3 is real and how much of it is bought in wind tunnels and engineering money burning. How much of his speed relies on superior equipment and how much is is his own ability. With stroll we know it was all about money. That’s why stroll is a flop in f1. In the end for mick it is a question of whether he wants to get into f1 on merit (do f2) or just wants to get into f1 (buy a seat). I don’t think on merit he deserves f1 seat quite yet. But if he just wants to be f1 driver then why buy f2 seat when you can buy f1 seat?

  15. Maybe he doesn’t want to… LANCE

  16. Mick Schumacher comes across as an intelligent, thoughtful and somewhat humble person. My take is that he wants to learn as much as possible and find out how good he can bee. It does not look like an ego thing for him.

  17. @velocityboy in a way it would be cool if he did make his debut with that team, which comes from the team which gave Schumi Sr his break.

  18. In the ego-rich sport of F1, it’s great to see Stroll offering very positive comments and encouragement to a potential rival. My respect for Lance went up substantially as a result.

    And whatever decision Mick Schumacher makes regarding his future plans, I wish him well. For me, his dad personified everything that was great and enjoyable about Formula One. Whenever, or if ever, it happens, I’ll be happy to see another Schumacher in F1.

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