Like father, like son, they say. Michael and Mick Schumacher have stolen the hearts of motorsport fans as Mick follows his father’s footsteps making his way up in Formula 1. This is Schumacher, then and now.
A World Champion and his mini-me – but it’s not that simple. Mick Schumacher, son of legendary Michael Schumacher, has made his way to Formula 1 without the support and guidance of his father, who has been in comas and intensive care since a skiing accident in 2013 when Mick was 14.
“I think dad and I would understand each other in a different way now, just because we speak in a similar language. This motorsport language,” said Mick in an interview. Side by side, the resemblance is uncanny, but Michael cannot see it for himself. At the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix, Mick drove his father’s championship-winning Benetton B194, and the iconic Ferrari F2004 at the 2020 Tucson Grand Prix in demonstration runs, all without Michael there to watch.
The young motorsport prodigy has yet to live up to his father’s grandeur, but he still has plenty of time. At 23, Mick has already won multiple championships: he started karting at the age of nine and became the Junior World Champion in 2014 – just one year after his father’s accident. In 2018, he enjoyed 8 wins in the European Formula 3 and his first championship title before joining the Ferrari Driving Academy. After a shaky start to 2019, he made a comeback at the Formula 2 Budapest Grand Prix, and went on to become the 2020 Formula 2 World Champion.
He ended his Formula 1 debut season on the Haas team in 19th place after a fare-share of collisions, spins and even an oil leak in the Russian Grand Prix, coming face to face with greats like Max Verstappen, Fernando Alonso and fellow-German mentor Sebastian Vettel. Without scoring any points however, he has entered the 2022 season still with Haas, qualifying twelfth and finishing eleventh at the Bahrain Grand Prix, his highest so far. He missed the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix due to a crash, returning at the Australian Grand Prix starting fifteenth and finishing thirteenth. He was running in the top ten at the recent Miami Grand Prix expected to score his first point, but collided with Vettel in the 54th lap. Nevertheless, prospects are high for the young racer.
Formerly calling himself Mick Betsch, adopting his mother’s maiden name to avoid unwanted attention during his karting days, he has now embraced his father’s legacy and requested to use the name MCM. The name MCM, Michael’s old nickname to distinguish himself from brother Ralf, is now back on our radar in a new era of motorsport.
As Michael is being treated discreetly in a Paris hospital and Mick gears up for the rest of the 2022 Formula 1 season both with heartache and a thirst for speed, IMAGO takes a look at Schumacher, then and now.