Mick Schumacher, the son of seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher, has won the 2018 FIA Formula 3 European Championship title with one race to spare during the season’s final round at the Hockenheimring.
The 19-year-old’s run to winning the Drivers’ Championship crown came off the back of a remarkable run at the end of the season. Having gone without a win in the first fourteen races of the thirty-race season, he broke through to claim his first win at Spa-Francorchamps in July and took the overall lead of the points’ standings in the penultimate round at the Red Bull Ring in September.
Having claimed an incredible eight wins in twelve races – including five on the trot over the Nürburgring and Red Bull Ring rounds – he entered the season finale to battle with Red Bull-backed Dan Ticktum for overall championship honours.
He finished a lowly twelfth in Race 1 following contact with PREMA Theodore Racing teammate Marcus Armstrong of New Zealand, but bounced back in Race 2 to finish second and put the title beyond the mathematical reach of Ticktum, who finished seventh.
Ticktum, who had been earmarked by Red Bull as a potential candidate to replace Brendon Hartley in Scuderia Toro Rosso’s F1 line-up should he win the title – had already courted controversy by expressing surprise on social media at his rival’s sudden turnaround in form. His remarks were interpreted by some as a thinly veiled suggestion that the German’s PREMA Theodore Racing team was cheating, triggering a swift rebuke from Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner.
“Of course, I am really happy with my title win,” Schumacher said after clinching the title. “I can hardly describe what a beautiful feeling it is to be doing something that you love really well.
“However, I also have a great team around me that is giving me the best conditions, enabling me to concentrate on what is important. I reckon that that is one of the keys to success.
“Moreover, we never gave up this season and have always tried to improve further. We never stopped working on ourselves.”
Schumacher joins current and upcoming F1 graduates such as Esteban Ocon (2014), Lance Stroll (2016) and Lando Norris (2017) who have won the FIA Formula 3 European Championship on their pathway to the top echelon of open-wheel racing.
By winning this year’s F3 crown and having finished second in the Italian and ADAC (German) Formula 4 Championships in 2016, Schumacher has earned the required 40 points to qualify for a full FIA Super License which would allow him to race in Formula 1 next year.
Exceptionally, it was also PREMA Theodore Racing’s sixth Teams’ Championship victory in a row. The Italian outfit is the only team to have won the Teams’ Championship title since the series was re-formed in 2012.
The 2018 season will be the last for the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, which will merge with the current GP3 Series in 2019 to form the FIA Formula 3 Championship.