Ferrari and Mercedes may each be making early overtures to Mick Schumacher, the 16-year-old son of F1 legend and record world champion Michael. In 1994, the Benetton team lined up in formula one with Schumacher alongside Jos Verstappen, the Dutchman whose teenage son Max is the sport's rookie sensation of today.
But also looking to rise through the ranks is 16-year-old Mick, who made his single seater debut this year in Formula 4 and is now tipped to step up to the highly-competitive European F3 championship. This week, Mick is reportedly testing at Monza and being watched over by Luca Baldisserri, the chief of Ferrari's young driver development 'academy'.
Ferrari insider Leo Turrini revealed earlier this week that Schumacher jr visited Maranello for the first time, where at Ferrari his father utterly dominated the sport last decade. But Mercedes - seven time world champion Michael's last team in F1 - might also be throwing its hat into the ring when it comes to Mick.
The Kolner Express tabloid reports that the teenage Schumacher has been invited to Mercedes' forthcoming end-of-year 'Stars and Cars' celebration in Stuttgart. "We asked Mick because of the close relationships between Mercedes and his family," a Mercedes spokesman said. "It's a great learning experience for him." Interestingly, Express also reported that the car tested by Schumacher jr at Monza this week belonged to the well-known Italian outfit Prema Powerteam.
In European F3, Prema is this year running a car for Lance Stroll, whose Canadian billionaire father Lawrence was earlier linked with buying a stake or at least investing significantly in the Williams team. The BBC reports that 17-year-old Lance has secured a testing deal at Williams for 2016. A spokeswoman for the British team would not comment. (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing