Formula One drivers say Mick Schumacher “deserves” the promotion that has thrust him a step closer to emulating his famous father.
Sebastian Vettel has backed the decision to give the young Schumacher a chance to impress at in-season testing in Bahrain next week.
Schumacher – son of seven-time world champion Michael – will drive an F1 car for the first time after being named as test driver for Ferrari and Alfa Romeo.
The 20-year-old, part of the Ferrari Driver Academy, will turn out for the Scuderia first, before spending the second day with Alfa Romeo at the Bahrain International Circuit.
It completes a rapid rise for Schumacher after winning the Formula 3 European title last season and earning a promotion to F2 with Prema Racing.
But Vettel says the opportunity is one the young German deserves after impressing in the lower categories.
“Obviously with the name and being the son of Michael, there’s certainly some links and expectations,” said the four-time champion.
“The way he has developed in the last years, he deserves where he is now. Now we should give him the time and the peace to do his job.”
Schumacher recently signed up for the Ferrari Driver Academy following his European Formula 3 championship success.
Mick’s father, Michael, is a seven-time champion F1 champion. Five of his record-breaking seven titles came with Ferrari. The majority of his 91 Grand Prix wins also came with the famous Italian car manufacturer.
Michael Schumacher, 50, retired from F1 racing in 2012. He suffered a serious brain injury in a skiing accident in 2013.
McLaren driver Carlos Sainz – whose own father was a two-time World Rally champion – knows about the pressures of following in the footsteps of a legendary father.
“I have a lot of sympathy for Mick,” Sainz Jr told Sky Sports News.
“I know a bit of the pressure he’s going through this season and what is to be the son of (a legend) — which is a bit of a pain sometimes to be called all the time the son of, the son of, the son of.
“You want to make your own name and I’m sure he’s trying to do the same. He keeps proving he’s good, he keeps proving that he has his chances for Formula 1, and no one has given that to him.
“He deserves that because of his talent and the way he has developed as a driver. I wish him all the best for this test.”