Last year, Mick Schumacher qualified fifteenth at the French Grand Prix, which was at that point in 2021, his best-ever qualifying result. He’d driven six previous races upto that point.
But after a string of eight more qualifying rounds, some that offered flashes of promise but were generally disappointing, came a turnaround of sorts.
At the Turkish Grand Prix of 2021, round sixteen, Mick Schumacher bagged a P14. It was again, his best qualifying result upto that point in his career. Moreover, there was something special about his effort at Istanbul; he outperformed drivers like Kimi Raikkonen, Daniel Ricciardo and even Carlos Sainz jr, the latter, Formula 1’s most recent Grand Prix-winner.
These are famous drivers that need no introduction; surnames that do not stem from a racing heritage so to speak.
Though for Mick, even the Turkish GP didn’t culminate into any points as a low-key Haas car could only gather a P19.
Though, truth be told, Mick didn’t lose heart; he kept trying.
Just as he had done at Hungary in 2021, where in the latter stages of the fast paced Grand Prix, Mick, lest it is forgotten, defended from Max Verstappen of all drivers.
It was also the very contest where who knows, with a bit more pace, Mick would’ve held onto a ninth place finish instead of his P12 having battled George Russell all along.
Alas, points were never for the taking. Things didn’t quite seem to work out.
Thereafter upto the most recent Formula 1 Grand Prix at Great Britain, Mick Schumacher underwent pretty much everything you’d expect a driver to experience whose best mate could be anyone but not good fortune.
He was pretty much a driver who seemed to be suffering from fortunes that constantly played seesaw with his Formula 1 career.
He suffered a manic, nearly disruptive crash during the qualifying at Saudi Arabian Grand Prix of 2022, where thanks to timely medical intervention, he was back on his feet. But a DNF in the race only hurt his wailing fortunes.
Then came the Monaco Grand Prix of 2022, where Mick Schumacher lost control of his car at lap 24 at the swimming pool section and crashed into the barriers.
A major talking point from that episode wasn’t just another dramatic crash endured by the German, such an easy headline material for journals anyway. Rather, it was the massive bill that the Haas, split into two, was feared to cost the team.
Truthfully speaking, Mick didn’t do too terrible in the qualifying for Monaco; he’d bagged a P15.
Then, two races later, there came about a breather of sorts, a massive reprieve even.
At Canada, Mick Schumacher bagged a career best sixth in the qualifying and what rightly followed thereafter, were several congratulatory messages. Warmth filled bear hugs ensued in the Haas camp.
But on lap nineteen of the race, an engine failure dented a huge blow to Schumacher’s hopes of finally getting some points in F1, a sport he was groomed and prepped to undertake.
Just how heartbroken, one thought, would Mick Schumacher have been at the back of such disappointment? He’d begun the race 0.396 shy of Kevin Magnussen, the Danish driver stacked in fifth. But even Canada didn’t embrace Germany’s much-loved son.
The slew of questions, mostly posing doubts at Mick Schumacher’s presence in F1, began to appear ever so frequently.
When was the big breakthrough going to come? From where would it drop down, one wondered.
Talks had already gathered steam- and rather sadly so- about the young driver being nothing more than a carrier of a massive surname.
A name that in the context of F1 was, is nothing shy of a prized fortune.
For how much longer did fans have to wait for Schumacher to show his promise?
But just as they say, there’s a pause when the jury goes out to consider its verdict, it finally appears that the verdict on Mick’s career- or something like it- has arrived.
And it arrived a few hours earlier at the back of what one might say have been extremely testing times.
For a driver who quickly went from being the next- possible big thing in the sport to being nothing more than an “overrated arrival” from the land of the great Michael Schumacher, as described by some on social media, Mick has hit back valiantly.
And how did it all happen?
The venue? The historic Silverstone, considered by many to be the spiritual home of Formula 1.
The result? A valiant P8 at the British GP.
Mick Schumacher finally drove home four extremely valuable points and in the process, beat the likes of Sebastian Vettel, his famous compatriot and mentor, and even Kevin Magnussen, his own teammate.
In the final moments of the 2022 British GP, Mick was involved in an interesting battle attempting to catch the defending world champion of this season as Verstappen was stacked in seventh.
The Dutchman was just ahead of Mick.
Though here’s the truth. A P8 to some may not be anything else other than a normal finish inside points.
But look at it from the perspective of Schumacher, who’s endured pressure, has had to face the ignominy of consistent results outside of points.
Perhaps so many finishes sans points that countless may have called him (at some point), a pointless one driving around in circles to achieve god knows what?
But perhaps those among us who don’t treat talents like a bug that must be crushed, Mick Schumacher’s P8 has a lot of value.
It is, after all, a change of things for the boy is who’s experienced loads of ups and downs.
A start to something that could be special in Formula 1 provided he builds on it further.
It is, factually speaking, a reward of months of backbreaking results, many of which culminated into heartbreaks- nothing else.
To those that had remarked Mick was over, truth is, he’s just getting started.