The world is still waiting to see what Mick Schumacher can really do in a Formula One car.
The son on the man known and revered as Schumi has run a series of grand prix demonstrations in his father’s cars, most recently ahead of Ferrari’s 1000th race at Mugello in Italy.
He also tested for Ferrari at Fiorano, its private test track, last week alongside fellow Ferrari Driver Academy juniors Robert Shwartzman and Callum Ilott.
But when it came to The Big One, Schumacher was done before he could begin.
Rain at the Nurburgring, a track always known for its fickle weather, meant Schumacher’s planned F1 debut with Alfa Romeo was scrubbed.
No-one was allowed onto the German track and that also meant that Ilott also missed his chance with Haas – which also uses a Ferrari powertrain – in the first of the free practice sessions on Friday.
The whole day was eventually rained-out as the grand prix race director, Australia’s Micheal Masi, ruled that the track was unsafe for action.
“I would have loved to go out and drive, but it’s still great to be here,” said Schumacher, who pulled on the Alfa Romeo team gear for the first time and took part in everything from the pre-race track walk to the engineering briefings for full-time drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi.
“It is very useful to be alongside the engineers, be part of the briefings and work with the crew: this experience is teaching me a lot about the processes and the philosophy of an F1 operation.
“It would have been great to get some data for the team and I am also sorry for the fans who didn’t get to see any action, but in the end that is how it went. We can only hope there is a bit more running for the rest of the weekend.”
Although Schumi2 did not drive for Alfa, and Ilott missed his chance with Haas, Ferrari is still clearly grooming him for a longer-term future with the red team. A Friday practice run for either or both before the end of the year will be no surprise.
There are a lot of parallels in the Schumi2 program with his father’s preparation for F1 by Mercedes and Sauber. Michael, too, was a member of a young-driver program and his siblings were Heinz-Harold Frentzen and Karl Wendlinger, as the threesome shared Le Mans sports cars before all making it to F1.
Schumi2 is at an earlier stage, despite leading this year’s FIA Formula 2 championship, but there is plenty of speculation abut his likely graduation to a race seat with Alfa Romeo in F1 next year.
“The future is still very open,” the young German told Sky Deutschland.
“In the end, I still have to finish my Formula 2 season and that is my full focus,” the son of the seven-time world champion added.
When asked if a F1 move for 2021 is at least on the cards, he added: “I can’t answer that yet. But Formula 2 is going very well so it should be interesting.”