Ferrari juniors, Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott will make their Formula One debuts in Free Practice One at Eifel Grand Prix next month.
Schumacher will drive for Alfa Romeo whilst Ilott will get a run out at Haas around the Nürburgring in FP1 for the Eifel Grand Prix across weekend of 9-11 October 2020.
Ilott will replace Romain Grosjean’s Haas whilst Schumacher will take Antonio Giovinazzi’s car at Alfa Romeo for the opening Practice session.
Schumacher currently leads the 2020 Formula Two championship after enjoying a consistent campaign with points finishes in 17 of 20 races ran so far and is “overjoyed…” to get a run out with Alfa Romeo around a track in which his father – Michael won at five times under the European Grand Prix banner between 1995-2006.
This maiden F1 drive will also take place in front of Mick’s home fans which the 21 year-old is excited about, saying; “The fact that my first participation in a Formula 1 weekend will take place in front of my home audience at the Nurburgring makes this moment even more special.”
Speaking on the decision to provide Schumacher with a FP1 session, Alfa Romeo Team Principal, Frederic Vasseur said; “He is obviously quick, but he is also consistent and mature behind the wheel – all hallmarks of a champion in the making. He impressed us with his approach and work ethic in those occasions he has been with us last year and we are looking forward to working with him once more at the Nurburgring.
Ilott meanwhile sits second in the F2 standings albeit 22 points behind Schumacher with two rounds left and speaking on his chance to drive in FP1 for Haas, Ilott described the opportunity as “a real privilege to get my first run in a free practice session,”
The opportunity to drive in FP1 around the Nurburgring is in particularly a special moment for Ilott, saying; “It’s amazing to have this chance at a track that is one of my favourites – it’s where I scored the first podium of my career back in 2015. The Nurburgring means a lot to me and is a track with a real heritage, so it’s great that I’ll have my first outing at a Formula 1 race weekend there.”
Haas Team Principal, Guenther Steiner praised Ilott’s performances in F2 this season which sees the Brit sat 22 points adrift of Schumacher with two rounds left, saying; “He’s demonstrated his outright pace and race craft throughout 2020 with four pole positions and three wins in what’s been undoubtedly another highly competitive season of F2 competition.”
Ferrari have also confirmed that Robert Shwartzman will get a FP1 session with Alfa Romeo at the season finale in Abu Dhabi across 11-13 December 2020, and that he will join Schumacher and Ilott at a test at Fiorano as all three drivers will test F1 machinery for the first time in a SF71H which Ferrari drove during the 2018 F1 season.
FDA and Scuderia Ferrari Sporting Director, Laurent Mekies has spoken of the decision to hand Schumacher, Ilott and Shwartzman a private F1 test, saying; “We wanted to organise this test session so that our three best youngsters would be as well prepared as possible to tackle an event that will always be a special moment for them.
“It will be a chance to get to grips with a Formula 1 car, which is much more complicated than the car they are currently used to driving.”