Mick Schumacher has emulated his famous father by joining the Ferrari ranks, in its junior driver system.
The 2018 FIA Formula 3 European Champion has been signed to the Ferrari Driver Academy, which counts the likes of new Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 driver, Charles Leclerc, and Sauber's Antonio Giovinazzi, who Ferrari placed at its customer team for this season, among its graduates.
“I am thrilled that Ferrari has entered a partnership with me and my next future in motorsport will be in red, being part of the Ferrari Driver Academy and also of the Scuderia Ferrari Family,” said Schumacher.
“Again, this is another step forward in the right direction, and I can only profit from the immense amount of expertise bundled there.
“Be sure I will make everything to extract whatever helps me achieve my dream, racing in Formula 1.
“It is more than obvious that Ferrari has a big place in my heart since I was born and also in the hearts of our family, so I am delighted on a personal level about this opportunity as well.
“At this stage it is however also time to say thank you to my family, friends and partners who supported me all along and helped me arrive at this point.”
Long-time Scuderia staffer Mattia Binotto, who was recently promoted to the team principal role, declared that Schumacher's signing is merit-based despite the significant family connection.
“For someone like me who has known him from birth, there's no doubt that welcoming Mick into Ferrari has a special emotional meaning, but we have chosen him for his talent and the human and professional qualities that have already distinguished him despite his young age,” said Binotto.
Christchurch's Marcus Armstrong, who won Race 1 of this weekend's Castrol Toyota Racing Series round, remains a member of the academy and will this year race in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship with Prema Racing.
Also in the ranks are Giuliano Alesi (son of Jean), Callum Ilott, Robert Shwartzman, Enzo Fittipaldi (grandson of Emerson), and Gianluca Petecof.
Mick Schumacher will race win the FIA Formula 2 Championship this year, also with Prema, and could well be handed an F1 test during the season.
There are two in-season two-day tests, and teams are obliged to run a driver who has started two F1 races or less on two of those days.