Sports Other News 31 Jan 2016 Schumi Jr is toast o ...

Schumi Jr is toast of the town

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | C SANTOSH KUMAR
Published Jan 31, 2016, 12:00 am IST
Updated Jan 31, 2016, 8:47 am IST
16-year-Mick Schumacher evokes comparisons with his legendary dad in Chennai also.
Mick Schumacher
 Mick Schumacher

The resemblance is striking. Not just his sharp facial features; Mick Schumacher’s swagger and mannerisms are all reminiscent of his iconic father, Michael. The 16-year-old German, who carries the weight of a legacy — arguably the most celebrated career in Formula 1 history — was the toast of the Irungattukottai circuit as he made a stunning debut in the MRF Challenge on Saturday. The usually dull race weekend sprang to life with Schumacher Jr in the line-up. The unprecedented media attention only added to the buzz. The organisers had to keep Mick’s participation a closely-guarded secret to avoid German press following him all the way to Chennai.

“The kind of attention he is getting here is nothing compared to the brouhaha back home. Ever since he started competing in single-seater races, he has been at the receiving end of countless comparisons with his illustrious father,” said a member of his management team. But the main reason Mick has been kept away from the media is to avoid questions on his father’s health. Schumacher is currently being treated in a purpose-built medical suite at his lakeside home in Geneva, after suffering injuries in a skiing accident in 2013.

 

Driving in unfamiliar territory here, Mick found an invaluable advisor in Narain Karthikeyan. What impressed Narain most was his humility. “We had a long chat over dinner the other day. He was all ears when I explained the nature of the track. He came up with questions that clearly showed his lineage,” said Narain, adding that his surname is a difficult cross for Mick to bear at this stage of his career. After finishing on the podium, Mick said he loved racing in Chennai. “I like the track, it is really beautiful and has got a great ambience. The two guys (Pietro Fittipaldi and Harrison Newey) were quicker than I was, but I am happy with my performance,” said Mick. Asked if he had more tricks up his sleeve, Mick said: “I would be happy to show it to you on the track!”

 

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