Mick Schumacher: Ferrari driver academy place for son of seven-time champion Michael

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Mick Schumacher - My dad is my idol

Ferrari said they were signing the son of Michael Schumacher on "talent" alone as they confirmed 19-year-old Mick Schumacher in their driver academy.

Schumacher Jr is embarking on his first season in Formula 2, the final feeder category before Formula 1, with the leading Prema team in 2019.

As part of his deal, he will drive in two tests with Ferrari this season.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto also highlighted the teenager's "human and professional qualities".

Schumacher Jr said he would use Ferrari's expertise to "extract whatever helps" him to achieve his "dream, racing in Formula 1".

Michael Schumacher won five of his record seven world titles with Ferrari.

He turned 50 earlier this month but has not been seen in public since suffering severe brain injuries in a skiing accident in December 2013.

His son Mick attended the post-season Formula 1 test with Ferrari in Abu Dhabi last November and won the European Formula 3 title at the second attempt last year.

"I am thrilled that Ferrari has entered a partnership with me and my next future in motorsport will be in red, being part of the Ferrari Driver Academy and also of the Scuderia Ferrari family," the teenager said.

"Again, this is another step forward in the right direction, and I can only profit from the immense amount of expertise bundled there. Be sure I will make everything to extract whatever helps me achieve my dream, racing in Formula 1.

"It is more than obvious that Ferrari has a big place in my heart since I was born and also in the hearts of our family, so I am delighted on a personal level about this opportunity as well."

Binotto said: "For someone like me who has known him from birth, there's no doubt that welcoming Mick into Ferrari has a special emotional meaning, but we have chosen him for his talent and the human and professional qualities that have already distinguished him despite his young age."

Next week Schumacher Jr will take part in the pre-season preparation with the other FDA drivers.

Giuliano Alesi and Callum Ilott will also race in Formula 2, Marcus Armstrong and Robert Shwartzman will compete in Formula 3, Enzo Fittipaldi will be in Formula Regional and Gianluca Petecof in Formula 4.

A number of drivers have progressed through the Ferrari academy into F1, including Charles Leclerc, who joins Sebastian Vettel at the team this season, and new Sauber signing Antonio Giovinazzi.

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