Sebastian Vettel says he is happy to help fellow German Mick Schumacher on his Formula 1 debut in 2021, but believes the Haas rookie also has to “find his own path” in the sport.
Vettel forged a strong friendship with his idol Michael Schumacher during his rise through the sport and has also become close to Michael’s 21-year-old son Mick, who will make his Formula 1 debut in 2021 with Ferrari-affiliated Haas as a member of the Ferrari Academy.
In addition to being friends off the track, Vettel and Schumacher junior partnered for Team Germany at the 2019 Race of Champions in Mexico, continuing a popular off-season tradition that Vettel started with Michael.
Vettel, who will move to Aston Martin Racing next season, says Schumacher will be also able to count on his support as he makes his first steps in F1.
“I’m happy to help where I can because he’s a great guy and obviously I have a very special connection to his father,” Vettel said when asked by Motorsport.com about Schumacher’s arrival in F1. “It’s a shame that Michael is not able to witness Mick’s progression in the last few years and his step now into Formula 1.
“So, yeah, from my side, I really like him, we get along well and I’m happy to tell him everything that I know.”
Sebastian Vettel and Mick Schumacher at ROC Mexico 2019
Schumacher, who graduates to F1 after clinching the 2020 FIA F2 title, said Vettel is an idol and a mentor to him in similar fashion to what his father is to the four-time world champion.
“Well I’m flattered obviously. I watched his father win a lot more races than he could have watched me win, but I think I will be happy to help,” Vettel responded, while adding that Schumacher will also have to forge his own path in the sport.
“I’m happy to help, but I think it’s very important for him to find his own path and follow his own way.
“But surely as much as it helped when Michael had some things to say when I asked and gave me advice, I’m trying to do the same to him.
“The way I see him as a person, where I can help him in his life, or on track with some of the things that I went through in my career.”
Additional reporting by Ronald Vording
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