Schumacher's son drives old F1 car to mark 25th anniversary
SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium (AP):
Marking the 25th anniversary of Michael Schumacher's first Formula One (F1) win, his teenage son Mick drove demonstration laps in an old F1 car ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix yesterday.
Mick Schumacher, who is 18, was in a 1994 F1 model of the Benetton B194, which his father drove that year to the first of his record seven world championships. The German driver's 91 wins and 68 pole positions are also records, although Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton equalled the pole-position mark on Saturday.
"It was awesome," Mick Schumacher said after applause from the crowd in Spa. "To be able to drive the F1 car is amazing and I'm really honoured."
He also paid tribute to Hamilton for matching his father's pole record.
"I always look back at my dad's career, but records are there to be broken, so well done to Lewis Hamilton," the teenager said.
Michael Schumacher won his first career race on the vast Spa-Francorchamps track, nestled in the Ardennes forest, in 1992. He also made his debut there the year before and has a special affinity with the track. He has a record six wins one more than another F1 great, the late Ayrton Senna.
"You can't come to Spa without thinking about Michael," said Ross Brawn, the F1 managing director of motorsports, who was technical director on the Benetton team when Schumacher won in '92. "It was his circuit."
Mick Schumacher, meanwhile, is driving in the F3 championship and is touted for a bright future.
It was while skiing with his teenage son on a family holiday that Michael Schumacher sustained severe head injuries in France almost four years ago. He has been cared for at his home in Switzerland since September 2014.
His accident happened at the Meribel ski resort in the French Alps. The avid skier hit the right side of his head on a rock, cracking his helmet. Doctors operated to remove blood clots from his brain, but some were left because they were too deeply embedded.
His condition stabilised after he was placed in a drug-induced coma, from which he later emerged. The current condition of the 48-year-old's health remains closely guarded among family and close associates.