CHENNAI: The 16-year-old isn’t fazed by the spontaneous turning of heads that a mere mention of his surname is bound to warrant. People followed Mick Schumacher — who sported a poker-face in public — in tow whenever he left the right corner of the paddock he had mostly confined himself to.
The German — whose jawline isn’t as prominent as his seven-time world champion father Michael — milled about, and even took quite some time out to fidget about with his trademark fluorescent-green helmet. It, not-so-coincidentally, sports the famous seven-star formation his father’s headgear is synonymous with.
Mick’s manager and crew ensured that the racer was shielded from media scrutiny on the first day of the MRF International Challenge Series in Sriperumbudur. After all, Michael’s health condition post his 2013 skiing mishap is still a closely guarded secret. The member of Van Amersfoort Racing was quietly preparing himself for the MRF F2000 class he was to feature in, immune to the cameras aimed in his direction.
Fifteen laps later, Mick clinched third place in the first race. And, the cameras were fixed on him again. “I’m pretty happy, for sure. The two guys (Pietro Fittipaldi and Harrison Newey) were a bit quicker than I, so they were gone from the start. I had to pass a few people first. I also managed to overtake Tatiana Calderon,” reflected Mick from the podium after the end of the first race. “I’m quite glad to be third. It’s a beautiful track, and I really like the ambiance it exudes.”
“I will be glad to show them to you on the track,” was his quip when queried as to what tricks he had up his sleeve for upcoming races.
After finishing sixth in the second F2000 race, Mick is still quite far from the top of the championship table. The statistic may not quite evoke the image of a prodigy in making, but many from the fraternity are willing to believe that Mick may still tread the path to stardom.
“When you have a famous father, there’s bound to be added pressure. Expectations are high, but the guy (Mick) handles it really well. He is fast too, no doubt. I think things should work out for him,” is Narain Karthikeyan’s take on how the teenager’s career trajectory will take shape in the future.
Results: MRF International Challenge: MRF F2000: Race 1 (15 laps): 1. P Fittipaldi (BRA), 2. H Newey (ENG), 3. M Schumacher (GER); Race 2 (20 laps): 1. N Troitcki (RUS), 2. H Newey (ENG), 3. N Isaakyan (RUS). National Racing Championships: MRF F1600 (Qualifying): 1. K Tharani 1:40.761, 2. G Parekh 1:40.065, 3. A Reddy 1:41.197. Indian Junior Touring Cars: Race 1 (10 laps): 1. K Desouza 24:43.996, 2. Vinod S 24:51.609, 3. A Ramaswamy 24:52.886. Super Stock: Race 1 (10 laps): 1. CN Tolia 24:49.375, 2. Adith KC 24:50.068, 3. A Abdullah 25:07.791.