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SCHUMACHER

Schumacher junior signs first racing contract

Mick Schumacher, the son of seven-time Formula One world champion Michael, will appear in Formula 4 from April with Team van Amersfoort, the Dutch outfit announced on Monday.

Schumacher junior signs first racing contract
Mick Schumacher at the German Karting Championships in October. Photo: DPA

"He spent a full day in the simulator at our headquarters in the Netherlands. Then we witnessed him during a test session at Valencia and eventually, we reached an agreement to compete together in this year's ADAC Formula 4 series," team chief Fritz van Amersfoort told the team's website.

The 15-year-old was second in the German kart championship last season.

He will make his first appearance in Formula 4, a series for young talents, at Oschersleben in northern Germany on April 25 and 26, with the last race set for Hockenheim in October.

The Schumacher family's spokeswoman Sabine Kehm confirmed that Mick would be quitting karting to focus on the single-seat category.

Formula 4 was created last year as a championship for young drivers hoping to eventually take the step up to Formula One.

Michael Schumacher is still recovering from the serious skiing accident in the French Alps in December 2013 that left him with life-threatening head injuries.

SEE ALSO: Schumi faces "difficult and long" recovery

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SCHUMACHER

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career

Michael Schumacher's 16-year-old son starts his Formula Four career this weekend, under the pressure of living up to the famous family name of the seven-time Formula One world champion.

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career
Mick Schumacher on test day earlier in April. Photo: DPA

After a successful karting career, Mick Schumacher Jnr has joined the Dutch Van Amersfoort Racing team in Europe's ADAC Formula Four for the season which starts at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben between Hanover and Berlin.

It will be a busy weekend for the young German after Friday's practice sessions with one race on Saturday and two on Sunday.

There will be a 38-strong field of teenage drivers all bidding to make their mark and dreaming of an F1 career over the eight-race season, held at tracks in Germany, Austria and Belgium and ending in October.

As the reigning European karting champion, who came second at the 2014 world championships, the young Schumacher has earned the right to step up to F4, where the cars are 100kgs heavier and produce 130 more horse-power.

But the teenager has to deal with the heavy weight of expectation not only from the media, but also the eyes of the Formula One world.

"Of course, the public will be watching him, thanks to his father, and that is a huge burden for him," said Austrian F1 legend Niki Lauda.

Alongside him in the Van Amersfoort team will be 16-year-old British driver Harrison Newey, son of Michael Schumacher's long-time racing car designer Adrian Newey.

But previous family success will count for little out on the track.

"We are all pleased with how things are going. Mick makes few errors," the team's managing director Rob Niessink told German daily Bild.

"The talent is there, the preparation is there, the intelligence is there.

"We are proud to have a big name race for us, but the name alone won't bring us any points.

"We'll all have to work hard for those."

With her client recovering from a head injury from a skiing accident in December 2013, Michael Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm did her best to shield the teenager from the media's intense gaze during testing this month.

"I'd like to ask that the expectations on Mick aren't built up too high," she said.

"It's his first year in Formula racing, everything is new to him and he has so much to learn."

Belgium's 17-year-old Formula One driver Max Verstappen has tipped Schumacher Jnr to follow his father into elite motor sport.

"From my own experience, I can say that it is best for him to focus on his race," Verstappen, the youngest driver in F1 history, told Die Welt.

"He shouldn't be distracted by the media and just do what he does best:, drive.

"Maybe we'll see each other one day in Formula One."

SEE ALSO: Schumacher junior signs first racing contract

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