Mick Schumacher impresses in car-racing debut

His father would be so proud.

There was a familiar sight for motorsport fans on Saturday as a smiling Schumacher splashed champagne on the podium.

Not Formula One legend Michael, who is still recovering from serious head injuries suffered in a 2013 skiing accident, but his teenage son Mick — who impressed on his debut in the new F4 series.

The 16-year-old placed ninth out of 35 drivers in the inaugural race in his native Germany, and was awarded the trophy for best-placed rookie.

He climbed up the field from 19th on the starting grid in his first car-racing event.

“I’m pleased that I caught up — it didn’t occur to me at first that I was best rookie!” said Schumacher, who previously raced karts under the surname Betsch — his mother Corinna’s maiden name.

“After yesterday’s qualifying and my grid position, I’m really satisfied.”

He was, however, beaten by another famous F1 name: Harrison Newey, the son of the Red Bull team’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey, who has designed 10 championship-winning cars.

Schumacher’s Van Amersfoort Racing teammate — who made his car-racing debut last year — was seventh, while the race was won by 18-year-old German Marvin Dienst.

The F4 series has been introduced as a stepping stone from karts to Formula Three — the format in which Michael Schumacher was a champion before going on to win a record seven F1 titles with Benetton and Ferrari.

Its patron is four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who has followed the path of his idol Schumacher by joining Ferrari this season.

“These guys are going to be racing at a high level, and I’m sure that I’ll be seeing some of them eventually in Formula One,” Vettel said on Thursday.

The young drivers will line up again Sunday for two more races at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben.

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