Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time world champion Michael, has finally been confirmed as a race driver for the Haas F1 team in 2021.
The Swiss-born German will thus reach the top level of the sport 30 years after his father, who made his debut with Jordan at the 1991 Belgian GP.
The 21-year-old will partner fellow F2 graduate Nikita Mazepin, who was announced on Tuesday.
Schumacher is scheduled to have his first taste of the current Haas car when he takes part in FP1 in Abu Dhabi next week, before participating in the rookie test that takes place two days after the race at the same venue.
Schumacher earned a superlicence by winning the 2018 FIA F3 championship with Prema, before moving up to F2 with the same team the following year.
He had a difficult first season in the category, winning one sprint race and finishing 12th, but he has demonstrated significant progress this season. Having won feature races at Monza and Sochi, he tops the points table with just this weekend’s Bahrain finale to come.
Schumacher is a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, and his signing by Haas represents the new stage in the relationship between the team and Maranello, which had not previously extended to driver decisions.
Ferrari already had the right to place a driver at Sauber/Alfa, with the seat having gone first to Charles Leclerc and latterly Antonio Giovinazzi.
“The prospect of being on the Formula 1 grid next year makes me incredibly happy and I’m simply speechless,” said Schumacher. “I would like to thank Haas F1 Team, Scuderia Ferrari and the Ferrari Driver Academy for placing their trust in me.
“I also want to acknowledge and extend my love to my parents – I know that I owe them everything. I have always believed that I would realise my dream of F1.
"A huge thank you must also go to all the great motorsport fans out there who have supported me throughout my career. I will give it my all, as I always do, and I look forward to going on this journey together with Haas F1 and them.”
Schumacher made his official F1 public testing debut when he drove for Alfa Romeo in Bahrain in April 2019, before switching to Ferrari the following day. This year he was scheduled to drive for Alfa in FP1 at the Eifel GP, but the day’s activity was rained off.
He has also logged miles testing two-year-old Ferraris, and has performed demonstration runs in his father’s cars on several occasions, most recently at the Tuscan GP in September.
Inevitably Schumacher is widely-regarded as a future Ferrari driver. However, with Leclerc on a long-term contract and Carlos Sainz joining next year, he is set to continue his learning process at Haas for several seasons.
Ferrari is now set to secure a reserve and testing role for Schumacher’s F2 title rival Callum Ilott, who confirmed last week that he won’t be racing in F1 next year.
“The F2 Championship has long served as a proving ground for talent to showcase their credentials,” said Haas team boss Gunther Steiner. “And this year’s field has undoubtedly been one of the most competitive in recent seasons. Mick has won races, collected podiums and excelled against some pretty exceptional talent in 2020.
“I firmly believe he’s earned the opportunity to graduate into F1 based on his performances. We have an opportunity ahead of us, as a team, to evaluate and nurture a new driver given our familiarity with our race package heading into 2021.
“We are putting in place our building blocks for the continued long-term growth of the team and I look forward to Mick’s contributions both on and off the track in that process.”