Mick Schumacher to make Formula 1 practice debut at Eifel GP
Schumacher and Ilott to drive in Eifel GP practice for Alfa Romeo and Haas; Fellow F2 title rival Shwartzman set for Abu Dhabi debut
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 29/09/20 1:55pm
Mick Schumacher is among three Ferrari juniors who will make their official Formula 1 debuts in practice sessions this season, as Formula 2's stars look to make their mark with the aim of getting on the 2021 grid.
Schumacher, son of F1 legend Michael who is leading the F2 championship, will drive the Alfa Romeo on Friday, October 9 during first practice for the Eifel GP, 2020's next race and the German's home event at the Nurburgring.
Mick will be joined in the session by title rival Callum Ilott, with the British driver in the similarly Ferrari-powered Haas. Robert Shwartzman, fifth in the F2 standings, will get his chance at the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP.
Conveniently, Alfa Romeo and Haas represent Ferrari's F2 drivers' best chance of getting on the grid next year, with both teams currently having two seats available.
Schumacher and Ilott both have F1 experience - driving the Ferrari and Alfa Romeo respectively in test sessions last year - while it will be Shwartzman's first time at the wheel of an F1 car.
All three drivers will test at Ferrari's Fiorano track on Wednesday (September 30) in the Scuderia's 2018 car, with the team planning 'to prepare them as well as possible to perform on track, with the ultimate aim of one day sitting in the cockpit of a Ferrari Formula 1 car'.
"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," said Ferrari Sporting Director Laurent Mekies.
"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.
"I would like to thank Haas and Alfa Romeo Racing for offering Callum, Mick and Robert this opportunity. We believe strongly in our Academy, which has already proved its value, with Charles Leclerc, a driver on which the Scuderia can build its long term future.
"Callum, Mick and Robert have already proved their worth in the current Formula 2 season and this test is a further step in their education."
Schumacher has only won two F2 races this year, but has been incredibly consistent and currently leads the championship from Ilott by 22 points, with only two rounds and four races remaining - all in Bahrain.
Whoever wins the championship is ineligible to compete in the feeder series the following season, making a step up to F1 for the victor all the more likely.
Alfa Romeo are waiting to see if Kimi Raikkonen wants to remain in the sport before making a decision on their line-up, although both the Finn and Antonio Giovinazzi could leave.
Haas' drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen could also both exit the sport, with team boss Gunther Steiner admitting they are thinking "long-term" with their next move.