Schumacher name gives me motivation every day, says Mick


FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - December 11, 2020 New Haas' driver Mick Schumacher tests the car during practice Bryn Lennon/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - Taking the Schumacher surname back into Formula One this season will be more a source of pride than pressure, Michael's son Mick said on Thursday.

The 21-year-old German, whose Ferrari great father won seven world championships including five with the Italian team, makes his F1 race debut with Haas in Bahrain on March 28.

"I'm very happy to carry that surname, and I'm very happy to carry that name back into Formula One, and I'm very proud of it," he told reporters on a video call as Haas unveiled their new Ferrari-powered car.

"It's like a boost for me and it gives me motivation every single day."

Haas scored only three points last year and finished ninth of 10 teams.

They are already more focused on 2022, when the rules change, and Schumacher -- last year's Formula Two champion and a Ferrari Academy driver -- could be facing a difficult year among the backmarkers.

Schumacher said he would be pushing to improve his performance in every race with the simple target of doing the best he possibly could.

One immediate hurdle he has had to overcome has been the factory seat fitting, with travel restrictions and quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic making that a time-consuming undertaking.

"It hasn't been easy, travelling to England has been very restricted," he said.

"We've had a plan and then the rules changed and I had to self-quarantine, so I had to find a spot where I could give up 10 days basically to give myself the room to go to the team for one and a half days."

He said the seat fitting started at 0800 and finished at 2230 but it was worth it.

"It feels good... a seat is always very special," he added. "I'm pretty sure I've got a good seat."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris)

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