By Alan Baldwin
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Michael Schumacher’s son Mick is ’100 percent’ certain to make it to Formula One and when he does it will be great for the sport, world champion Lewis Hamilton said on Thursday.
The 19-year-old German won the European Formula Three championship with a Mercedes-powered team last weekend and is now qualified to race in Formula One, although he is expected to move to Formula Two next year.
Schumacher senior remains the sport’s most successful driver, with a record seven world championships and 91 race wins, but Hamilton — who replaced him at Mercedes in 2013 — is fast closing the gap.
The Briton can win his fifth title in Austin this weekend and has so far won 71 races.
Asked whether the Schumacher name would be an asset or a burden, Hamilton doubted it would be the latter.
“There will 100 percent be a Schumacher back in Formula One, partly because of the name, but secondly because he’s doing a great job,” he told reporters at the Circuit of the Americas.
“He’s obviously got a lot of talent as his Dad had, just like Keke and Nico (Rosberg), just like when Fernando has kids I’m sure an Alonso will be here again.”
Rosberg, Hamilton’s now-retired team mate, and Britain’s 1996 champion Damon Hill are the only sons of champions to have won a title themselves.
There have been plenty of other sons of past drivers to race in Formula One but Max Verstappen, whose father Jos was a team mate of Schumacher, is one of the rare ones to have done better than their parent.
Hamilton felt any eventual offspring of his would be able to make it to Formula One on the basis of his name, even if not that good, but Schumacher did have talent.
“He’s doing a really great job and he’s a really great kid as well,” he said.
“He’s been a part of our team on a couple of weekends, I think it was last year, very attentive. He’s got a great talent as his Dad had, so I don’t think it will be a burden in my personal opinion. I think it could be great for the sport.”
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Martyn Herman)