Mick Schumacher thanked Scuderia Ferrari for giving him an “incredible opportunity” to make his Formula 1 debut at the post-Bahrain Grand Prix test in Sakhir.
Schumacher repaid Ferrari’s faith by setting the second fastest time on day one of a two-day test at the Bahrain International Circuit with a best laptime of a 1:29.976, 0.597 seconds adrift of leader Max Verstappen for Red Bull Racing, as well as completing 56 laps.
The 20-year-old’s running was staggered by rain through the afternoon, leaving all the runners with just over one hour of track time towards the end of the day.
Ferrari Academy member and FIA Formula 2 championship driver Schumacher set his best time on the softest compound available to him, as opposed to Verstappen who used the mid-range C3 Pirelli Motorsport tyres.
Schumacher said the Ferrari garage “felt like home” to him, having built relationships with senior members of the team through his seven-time F1 world champion father Michael, who spent 11 successful seasons with the Italian team.
“I really enjoyed today,” said Schumacher, who finished eighth and sixth respectively in his first two F2 races last weekend.
“It felt like home in the garage from the very first moment with a lot of people that know me since I was very young.”
He also commented on his first impressions of modern F1 machinery, with his only previous F1 experience coming courtesy of a 2017 demonstration run in his father’s 1994 championship-winning Benetton at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, saying that he was taken aback by the braking capabilities, power and grip available in the Ferrari.
On Wednesday, Schumacher will drive for Ferrari affiliated team Alfa Romeo Racing.
“The SF90 is incredible because of the power it has,” Schumacher added. “But it is also smooth to drive, and that’s why I enjoyed myself so much.
“I was impressed by the braking power an F1 car has, it seemed to me you could brake later and later and the car would have made the turn anyway.
“I would like to say thank you Ferrari for this incredible opportunity and I’m looking forward to testing the Alfa Romeo tomorrow.”