Michael, Ralf – The Schumacher legacy was always one of great determination and success. Never before have two brothers raced on such a high level of Grand Prix racing.
Of course Michael’s story, like a number of former-F1 drivers is being continued by his son, with Mick Schumacher currently on course to win the European F3 Championship and rumours already sparking about a move to the top-tier of single-seaters. This has been largely helped by a successful two seasons in the ADAC Formula 4 Championship and now three since his racing debut, we have yet another name to add to the dynasty.
David Schumacher secured the rookie cup in ADAC Formula 4 last month and is well on course to follow in his cousins footsteps.
Son of Ralf, David graduated from karts this season, competing with his fathers co-owned US Racing-CHRS team. It’s a relationship he’s benefited from, training with Ralf twice a day, when the pair are away from the race track.
Steady improvements throughout the year was ratified at the Nürburgring, when he picked up a pair of fourth places (two rookie wins), his best result of the year. It would be a bittersweet weekend though as rival Nicklas Krütten took not just rookie honours, but an overall win in the last race.
While Krütten did eventually beat him in the overall series, Schumacher had remained consistent throughout the year, securing the rookie crown with a race to go as he maintained his advantage at Hockenheim.
“The title was my objective from the beginning of the year, and now I’ve done it. I’m obviously very happy about that; in fact, I’m overjoyed.” said David.
It was a sentiment felt by his father, who just a year earlier had seen him narrowly lose out on the German Kart Championship.
“His development has proceeded at a steady pace, and he has been on a steep learning curve,” said Ralf Schumacher.
“Towards the end, he has been one of the fastest drivers in the field, which is in any case already very strong.
“Of course, it’s very gratifying for me personally. My main focus has not so much been on winning the title, but rather on David’s personal development.”
The title concluded a perfect weekend for the US Racing team, as they secured the teams championship, having already won the Drivers crown at the Nürburgring thanks to star driver Lirim Zendeli.
“Of course, there are also advantages if your team-mates can give you advice,” said David Schumacher on Zendeli’s influence. “But ultimately, we all drive our own race and want to be fast.
“All four of us drivers get the best possible support from our team which works very hard on our behalf. I’ve felt very well looked after throughout the season. Certainly, there has been more pressure in recent races, but that was because of the championship.”
But there are caveats to David’s achievements.
Mick famously won an overall reverse grid race in his first meeting and a picked up a third place later in the season, while David has not stood on the overall podium this year and that’s despite a winter warming up to racing in the UAE F4 Championship.
Fans of the 16-year-old will be quick to hit back though, pointing to the fact David scored more overall and rookie points than Mick, while the now 19-year-old never even lifted the Rookie crown, losing out to Mike David Ortmann and eventual champion David Beckmann, now a multiple GP3 race winner.
The young Schumacher also has the accolade of scoring a pole on his racing debut in the Middle East, picking up three wins over the winter to finish runner-up in the series, despite missing the opening round.
As a result, David leaves 2018 with more silverware, more super-licence points and unlike Mick, a title to his name.
“In addition, I’m getting ready to do the test for my driving licence right now,” concludes David. Adding with a smile: “Of course, it’s a bit more boring on the road than on the racetrack.”
Judging a driver by his debut season in motorsport is certainly premature, but while Mick’s campaign was renowned for its spectacular occasional highs, David’s was all about successful consistency. But as eyes turn to 2019, David will need to maintain his momentum as he chases his own F1 dreams.
Maybe this time it won’t be the younger Schumacher playing second fiddle.