Mick Schumacher must make a Russell & Norris-style statement in F2 this year

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Ex-Formula 1 driver Johnny Herbert feels Mick Schumacher has to "make a statement" in Formula 2 this year.

The son of seven-time champion Michael had the global motorsport world watching him as he stepped up to F2 with Prema last year, having won the European F3 series in 2018.

But his results were pretty inconsistent with some strong drives but mostly he hovered around the lower half of the top 10, eventually finishing 12th in the standings.

While most are prepared to be patient with Schumacher, Herbert feels, with a year of experience now under his belt, now he needs to step up and challenge for the F2 title in 2020.

“It’s probably an important season this year,” the Briton said at the Autosport International event earlier this month.

“If you stay there [in F2] for too long, if you do a four-year stint, which has happened a couple of times for people like [Pastor] Maldonado and [Jolyon] Palmer, it hasn’t really turned into anything particularly brilliant.

“He has to do it, in my eyes, this year.”

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A seat in F1 is still likely in 2021 if he can make the necessary improvement this year, but Herbert noted how Schumacher hasn't made the impact that other recent F2 graduates made.

“Nothing that I would class as startling as we saw with Lando [Norris] and George [Russell]," he said of the 20-year-old's performances.

"His race win in Hungary was very well controlled, very mature in the way that he was able to look after his tyres and the manner he kept up the pace he needed to. I know it was a reverse grid so he was on pole position, but it was a good win."

However: “In my experience, when you have a win like that, you’re confidence grows. You go to the next race and actually, your performance goes up. [With Schumacher] his performance didn’t go up. He was around seventh, eighth," the Sky Sports pundit acknowledged.

“It was his first season, but all of the guys that make a statement in the lower Formulas go in and go bang! It’s the George and Lando situation and past drivers have also done the same thing.

“[He was] good, but needs improvement. I know Ferrari have said that he’s an ‘option’ and all of that sort of thing. It’s a bit early for Mick on that front, but his demeanour is very good. He’s a very nice young man and they’ve brought him on in a very nice way.

“But results speak. That’s the big thing. It was OK what he did when he did the Ferrari-Alfa test and they were OK, but I only heard rumours of what fuel and tyres he was running, so it’s a hard one to properly read.”