Interview - Mick Schumacher, thoughts from a champion
"They’ll be memories that I will keep forever"
FIA Formula 2: Hello and welcome a special press conference with the 2020 FIA Formula 2 champion Mick Schumacher. Mick, how does that title sound?
Mick Schumacher: It sounds good.
FIA Formula 2: Can you believe it yet? You walked in this room and asked if it had really happened.
Mick: Not yet, it still might take some time, but it is definitely a good feeling.
FIA Formula 2: Try and explain to us if you can, what does this title mean to you?
Mick: Let’s say, it was a very exciting race. I am a bit disappointed in that, I guess that’s kind of where my thoughts are at right now. I am a bit disappointed with my performance. Nevertheless, we have done enough over the whole year to give us that opportunity to have a bad race, as it happened to be. Today was definitely everything but easy. It was very windy, very gusty and very sandy. We are in the desert obviously, so with the wind the conditions changed to yesterday. It was definitely not easy. What matters is that we are here now.
FIA Formula 2: If we look at the year as a whole, from the start of the season you knew that you needed a strong year if you were going to make the step up to Formula 1, did you feel any pressure from that?
Mick: Not really. It was mainly that I had an expectation of myself. I wanted to achieve something myself. I wanted to prove to myself that I am here for a reason. Obviously, the start of the season wasn’t as we planned. We didn’t put everything together and that was mainly from my side. I think that the team was great all year long. But then, step by step, the podiums started rolling in, and those two victories as well. I am sorry, it is hard for me to talk!
FIA Formula 2: We totally understand. The competition was fierce all year and technically, mathematically, five drivers were still in the fight arriving at this final round. What do you think made the difference for you over the season, and this weekend?
Mick: I think the relationship that I had with the team. It is really about that. I have known those guys, my team in F2, for two years and the whole team for five years. I think that creates a bond. It creates trust and that is very important in a championship. As times were maybe tough, we managed to stick together and motivate each other to keep on pushing, to keep on working on ourselves, to keep on striving to try and move forwards and that is what we did.
FIA Formula 2: Obviously it came down to a two-driver race today against Callum. What mindset did you wake up with this morning and how quickly did that change when you were four corners into the race?
Mick: Obviously, my goal was to win the last race. I think that we would have had the pace. Unfortunately, I had a big lock-up going into Turn 4, I think that I over-estimated the grip and thought that I had more grip than there was, therefore I locked up. After that, I was trying to stay in front of Callum, trying to slow them down as much as I could, collecting everyone behind me. But after that it just kept on locking and in the end it was the safest and the best decision to come in and pit.
FIA Formula 2: I imagine that the end result of this race means that it is not going to be your highlight of the season, but have you got a round or a race that is going to stand out from this year?
Mick: Yesterday. I think we had everything to lose and we knew that Callum was quick and we knew that he was going to move forwards. To be honest, I didn’t expect to move forwards as much as we did. We ended up P7 at the flag and P6 in the final result, with the fastest lap. I never thought that we could manage to get so far forwards. I think as a team we worked really as one. It was one event just fit into the next one. One overtake fitted into the next one. Everything rolling and it felt very good.
FIA Formula 2: It has been an intense weekend though and all you have been able to do so far is come and sit in here and speak with us. Have you been able to call anyone yet? How are you going to celebrate this title?
Mick: I haven’t unfortunately, not yet. It has been a bit tight and a bit rushed, but it was great to have those ten minutes with the team to celebrate, take the pictures, and make some good memories. They’ll be memories that I will keep forever. The enjoyment will come later.
FIA Formula 2: You clearly have a strong bond with this team, but you will be moving to another team next year in Formula 1 with HAAS, that was already confirmed. How important was it for you to make that step up as the Formula 2 Champion?
Mick: I think very important. If you bring a championship title on your CV into F1, that is always great. I already had one in F3 and now I have one in F2 as well, one of the top championships to be in. To be able to win this championship against great competition, Dan Ticktum was in F3 when we fought, and now this year with Callum Ilott who I know very well from the FDA. It has been a great challenge and I think the better the competition, the more you develop as a driver. I think that is everything that I will carry through to F1.
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