Racing his way to sixth place at the Austrian Grand Prix, Ralf Schumacher feels his nephew Mick is finally able to show Formula 1 what he can do in the heat of battle.
Following on from his first-ever points-scoring finish at the British Grand Prix, Schumacher took on seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton for the final points-paying position in Saturday’s sprint race at the Red Bull Ring.
The Haas driver put up an epic defence against the Mercedes driver as lap after lap he kept Hamilton behind him, more through the clever positioning of his car than its speed.
Hamilton did eventually manage to pass late in the race, Schumacher lining up ninth for the grand prix.
He again tussled with Hamilton, the 23-year-old showing that he is not afraid to take on Formula 1’s big names as he raced his way to sixth place, his best result in Formula 1.
His uncle Ralf, a former F1 driver turned pundit, was all smiles.
“He’s strong in a duel,” he told Sky Germany. “You’ve already seen that in Formula 2. Now in Formula 1 you have to practice it a bit.
“Last year it wasn’t possible because of the car, now it’s possible.
“He implements it superbly, defends hard but fairly.
“Mistakes can always happen , but he’s done it perfectly now.”
Even rival team boss noted the German’s performance, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff saying: “Mick drove great, defended well and always on the sporting side. I’m happy to see that. A good young man.”
As for the driver, he says he was feeling very comfortable even when taking on the likes of Hamilton, arguably Formula 1’s greatest-ever driver.
“I feel very comfortable there,” he said. “I would feel most comfortable in the front, but we still have to wait for that.
“We have a car that we can fight with and don’t always have to risk everything to overtake I’m very happy with the car and the set-up.
“We’re getting closer to the top teams.”
Schumacher is P15 in the Drivers’ Championship with 12 points, all scored in the past two race weekends, while Haas are up to seventh in the Constructors’ standings with 34 points, seven ahead of AlphaTauri.