Motor racing-Schumacher finally grabs first points finish

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 - British Grand Prix - Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain - June 30, 2022 Haas' Mick Schumacher ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Molly Darlington

SILVERSTONE, England (Reuters) - It took a while but Mick Schumacher finally collected a first points finish of his Formula One career with an eighth place at the British Grand Prix on Sunday, easing some of the mounting pressure on the son of seven-time world champion Michael.

Following in the slipstream of one of Formula One's all-time greats has opened doors for the young Schumacher but along with opportunity has come sky-high expectations that the Haas driver has found increasingly difficult to live up to.

While it took his father two races to register his first points finish at the 1991 Italian Grand Prix driving for Benetton, Mick finally made it on his 31st attempt with the accomplishment applauded by others drivers, including world championship leader Max Verstappen.

"It's great to be able to score points in a double points finish in a sense that we have now jumped Aston Martin in the constructors which is something great, something we have been aiming for a while now," said Schumacher. "Now we are just trying bit-by-bit to get some more points out of the others."

Schumacher's first points could not have come at a better time with whispers in the pit lane that the 23-year-old German, despite his pedigree, could be dropped after a run of crashes and poor finishes.

After going pointless in his rookie season last year, Schumacher had come close to ending his drought several times before Sunday's Silverstone breakthrough.

Points looked on the cards at May's Miami Grand Prix until he crashed with his mentor Sebastian Vettel four laps from the finish while challenging for ninth.

At the Canadian Grand Prix on June 19 Schumacher qualified a career best sixth but failed to turn that into a points finish when his car stopped mid-race.

In Britain, Schumacher steered clear of an early pile up that took out several cars and delivered a strong performance, even going wheel-to-wheel with Verstappen over the final lap in an inspired attempt to snatch seventh from the Dutch driver.

"It's a risk for more points (racing Max)," said Schumacher. "We all have a good relationship within the drivers community and great to see everybody is healthy after the start."

(Reporting by Steve Keating; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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