Former Formula 1 driver Gerhard Berger has admitted that Ferrari Driver Academy member Mick Schumacher should not have been considered for an imminent move to the Maranello team at this stage of his career, even if Carlos Sainz would not have extended his contract with Ferrari until the end of the 2024 championship.
Mick Schumacher has started his second F1 campaign with Haas and the Ferrari junior is very much considered a future contender to join the Italian side’s line-up and therefore reignite the legendary Schumacher-Ferrari story. His first Formula 1 season was mostly to gain experience, aware that he could not achieve anything else except fighting and beating his teammate Nikita Mazepin in a Haas VF-21 car which was by far the slowest on the grid. But now that the Russian driver has left the team ahead of the 2022 Formula 1 season, Haas can count on a much stronger teammate for Mick, namely Kevin Magnussen. This means that Mick Schumacher suddenly has an experienced benchmark on the other side of the garage which can represent a true challenge for the Ferrari junior as he attempts to continue his improvement.
Haas also have started the 2022 Formula 1 championship very strong, with Kevin Magnussen who has been able to score points in three of the first four rounds. His best result was a fifth place finish so far, while Mick Schumacher was not able to capitalize on the strengths of the Haas car due to some incidents that prevented him from reaching the top ten. But the season is still long and Mick Schumacher is expected to bounce back.
Gerhard Berger then, who raced for Scuderia Ferrari during two periods, for a total of six seasons, feels that the Ferrari junior is not ready for the moment to drive for the Maranello team:
“First of all, I think [a move to Ferrari] would be too early for Mick,” Gerhard Berger explained in a recent interview for Sky, as reported by Motorsport-Total.com – “I think Mick just has to make his way now, and he has to show this year that he can also compete against his team-mate and that he is ahead of him. Therefore, he has a huge task ahead of him.” – he continued.
Gerhard Berger also admitted that it would be “very, very dangerous” for Mick Schumacher to focus on how he could earn a seat with Ferrari in the future, but should rather focus on the present and learning as much as possible from his more experienced teammate. However, the former F1 driver does not believe such thoughts are in the German racer’s mind currently.
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“I also don’t think Mick thinks, how can I go to Ferrari now? No, now you have to perform at Haas, now you have to beat your team-mate. Then you automatically go to the next level again. You don’t just go into Formula 1 and drive at the front, it takes time, and you have to give the boys that.” – Gerhard Berger continued.
Mick Schumacher will have to wait until at least the 2025 Formula 1 season for a chance of racing for the Maranello team, as Carlos Sainz has been confirmed to stay with Ferrari for the next two campaigns. Gerhard Berger reiterated though that a Ferrari promotion for Mick Schumacher for next season would not have been the best call for Mick or the Italian side: “In two or three years, if he performs, you can say now would be a good time, and then you can have this discussion. Now would be wrong.” – Gerhard Berger concluded.