Schumacher: Feature race problems hid 'very positive' first year in F2

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Mick Schumacher downplayed a low-key first season in Formula 2, suggesting feature race issues had overshadowed his performance.

The 20-year-old German didn't make the impact most were expecting in the feeder series this year, finishing a lowly 12th in the standings with only a solitary victory to his name in the Hungary sprint race.

That means the pressure is on Schumacher to improve next year if he wants to be considered among the next generation of top drivers, but at the same time, Mick notes how a bit more luck could have seen things turn out much differently.

“I think it’s been a very positive year in terms of pure performance,” Schumacher claimed. “It’s been a negative year in terms of reliability. 

“I think we had a few races where the points and positions have been taken away from us, where else it could have been a very strong weekend and performance. 

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“Unfortunately the set-up of the F2 weekend is basically Race 1 [feature race] decides the place you will start for Race 2 [sprint race]. 

“Many of my problems were in Race 1, which meant the weekend was basically trashed away from there. 

“It’s very unfortunate because I think we could have done very good weekends here and there which would have given me, in the end result, a lot of points, and put me in a different position in the championship.”

When thinking about a second year of F2 in 2020, however, Schumacher believes a key change could actually make staying beneficial ahead of a potential promotion in 2021.

“Clearly if you get the opportunity [in F1], you take it, so the opportunity hasn’t been there. That’s pretty open and clear," he said in Abu Dhabi.

"Then the next decision was to stay in F2. For me, [it was] the most intelligent and most reliable decision I could take and category I could drive in.

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“F2 is going to have the new tyres next year [18-inch], which is going to be positive for me because that’s going to be for F1 in 2021.

“If then we manage to do the step, I would have a head start.

“Obviously it’s different but I think in a junior category it’s going to help me get more experience. Maybe also put me in a different position for next year.”

As a Ferrari junior, Schumacher will likely be linked to Alfa Romeo for 2021, though recently Racing Point also revealed they are following his progress.