THE fact that the son of the greatest driver to ever grace Formula 1 is a gun behind the wheel is almost a no-brainer.
Mick Schumacher, son of hospitalised seven-time champion Michael, has begun following in his father’s footsteps with a sensational rise through Formula 3, culminating in a stunning purple patch of form in recent weeks.
The 19-year-old Prema Powerteam driver took pole position for six races in a row and won five, outed only by F3 Prema teammate Robert Shwartzman at the Red Bull Ring in Austria over the weekend.
Schumacher’s hot streak sealed him the 2018 championship, shutting out fierce rival and rising Red Bull star Dan Ticktum in the process.
And Ticktum, 19, wasn’t too pleased with the son of Schumi’s “interesting” late season demolition.
In a since deleted Instagram post, the British young gun claimed nobody else on the grid “had a chance” against his rival’s car throughout his recent run of form.
“I don’t like pointing fingers at anyone but to be honest, this weekend the pace in the car was not there,” he said.
“Set-up mainly, as in the last race when we got the car better, we were pretty quick climbing from 7th to 4th.
“However compared to the top two no one on this grid had a chance. Even their other teammates who are good drivers were nowhere compared to them … ‘interesting’ is how I would describe their pace and I am confident many people in the F3 paddock will agree.”
Ticktum later commented that he was “robbed of a championship”. “They may just have a special engine map or something. I never said it was illegal,” he said.
After fans tore into his incredible attack on social media, Ticktum moved to clarify his controversial post — but even that came with a salty swipe at the German.
“I have huge respect for Mick who had dealt with a lot in the past few years,” Ticktum wrote. “I am simply suggesting that it seems to have come from nowhere. I never said it was illegal.
“I appreciate I have lessons to learn still! I’m not denying that. You don’t know the real story because you are not at the track looking at everyone’s data.
“Unfortunately however I am fighting a losing battle as my last name is not Schumacher.”
And it’s not the first time the Formula 1 hopeful has stirred up controversy.
Ticktum was blocked from taking part in F1 testing in 2018 as Red Bull opted with simulator driver Jake Dennis.
Drivers require an International A licence before getting behind the wheel of F1’s open wheel monsters. Ticktum didn’t make the cut.
New laws implemented in 2018 state drivers need 14 superlicence points to earn the qualification and Ticktum fell short come crunch-time.
In 2015, the then 16-year-old Ticktum was banned for two years by the Motor Sports Association for a “disturbing and dangerous” crash with MSA Formula championship rival Ricky Collard.
Ticktum passed 10 cars “at very near racing speed” during the Safety Car and deliberately smashed into Collard, who spun him out earlier in the race.
“I want to apologise to my fellow drivers all those people who have supported me in the motor racing community. I also want to apologise to all the marshals and MSA officials at Silverstone this weekend,” Ticktum said at the time.
“I have been a fool and I intend to learn the important lessons I need to from this weekend.”
He served one full year of the ban before being allowed back on the track.
DETAILS OF MICHAEL SCHUMACHER’S BATTLE
The family of Michael Schumacher legend has kept tight-lipped on his recovery from a horrific brain injury suffered while skiing in late 2013.
Lawyers confirmed in 2015 he was “unable to walk or stand alone” and no longer has the use of speech or memory. Now, closing in on five years since the traumatic incident rocked the racing world, details of the seven-time champion’s struggle have emerged via a report from French magazine Paris Match.
Roughly 15 people, ranging from specialist doctors to physiotherapists, take turns in seeing to Schumacher at his home by Switzerland’s Lake Geneva. Therapy sessions include playing sounds of high-pitched F1 engines and encouraging him to steer a Volkswagen Golf around his villa in the hope of reigniting some memory in the 49-year-old.
Daily sessions with physiotherapists have reportedly begun making progress — however small — in the German icon’s recovery. Insiders revealed snippets of Schumacher’s baby-steps rehabilitation, confirming he could “sketch a few gestures in his aquatic pool”.
Two anonymous relatives who visit Schumacher heartbreakingly revealed the racing legend occasionally breaks down in emotion.
“When you put him in his wheelchair facing the magnificent panorama of the mountains overlooking the lake, Michael sometimes cries,” Paris Match reported.
The fresh insight into Schumacher’s battle came after son Mick shared details of his relationship with his father in an interview with the BBC.
The promising Formula 3 driver hopes to follow his father’s footsteps in becoming a successful F1 driver.
“My dad had a huge influence on my career,’’ he said. “He was my idol and I am following everything he did and see if I can use it myself and I am really happy with that … the goal is to win in F1, that is the aim.
“You still have to show what you can do. That’s my goal. I want to prove that I am a proper racing driver and not only show I have got the same name.”