Schumacher name would weigh on Mick in F1, says Jacques Villeneuve
Jacques Villeneuve offers advise for Michael Schumacher's son Mick as 17-year-old continues path to F1
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 16/01/17 5:13pm
Jacques Villeneuve believes Mick Schumacher, the teenage son of seven-time champion Michael, would have to be mentally strong to cope with the scrutiny of carving out his own career in Formula 1.
Schumacher, 17, continues his progression through the motorsport ranks and this year steps up to the European F3 Championship after runner-up finishes in both German and Italian F4 in 2016.
The head of Ferrari’s driver academy has said they would roll out the “red carpet” for the promising youngster, while Mercedes, another of Schumacher Snr’s former teams, have also been keeping tabs on the German.
1997 world champion Villeneuve was one of Michael Schumacher's fiercest rivals and also has experience of following in a famous father’s footsteps. Gilles Villeneuve won six races for Ferrari in 1978-81 but was tragically killed in qualifying for the 1982 Belgian GP. He is considered one of F1’s most talented-ever drivers.
Asked by Sky Sports News HQ what it would be like for Mick Schumacher to become an F1 driver, Villeneuve replied: “Oh, it would be crazy. It’s a different day and age from when I got into racing with all the social media and the marketing that goes behind it, which seems to be 10 times more than the driving part.
“So it would be very, very hard on him, mostly because his father was many times world champion – and not so long ago. So not a lot of time has passed by. It would be a lot of weight to carry, but mentally if he can carry that then a lot of doors will open.”
Schumacher Jnr recently told German media his ultimate goal was to become F1 world champion and Villeneuve believes the 17-year-old has to follow his heart irrespective of the inevitable challenges.
But the Canadian stressed the youngster would have to be fully aware of what the attention placed on him would be like.
“If he’s really passionate then he has to go for it,” added Villeneuve. “He has to understand that it will come with hurdles.
“There will be a lot of doors open, but once the is door is open they can close very quickly and more easily for other drivers. All the media and the fans will look at him as if he is already an experienced driver when he’s not. That’s the big difference.”