(Reuters) - Michael Schumacher’s 16-year-old son Mick collected the trophy for best rookie on his motor racing debut on Saturday after finishing ninth in a German Formula Four race.
The teenager, whose seven times Formula One world champion father suffered severe head injuries in a 2013 skiing accident and is being cared for at home in Switzerland, had qualified 19th for the race at Oschersleben.
The award for best rookie, in the first of three races scheduled for the German track this weekend, allowed him to join the top three finishers on the podium and spray the champagne with them.
The youngster is competing for the Dutch Van Amersfoort Racing team whose line-up also includes Harrison Newey, the teenage son of title-winning F1 designer Adrian Newey.
Schumacher showed quick reactions and a readiness to overtake in the race, which was won by 18-year-old German driver Marvin Dienst.
An accomplished go-karter, and runner-up in the world junior championship, Mick had previously competed under his mother Corinna’s maiden name of Betsch.
His manager Sabine Kehm, who also represented Schumacher senior, called for realistic expectations when the teenager started testing at Oschersleben earlier this month amid intense media interest.
“This is Mick’s very first year in a formula series. He has to learn a lot of new things and make a lot of new experiences because the difference between karting and formula cars is quite big,” she told Reuters then.
“Give him time, don’t over-react in terms of expectations and just have him go step by step. Of course he will try and do his very best but he also has to learn a lot. This is really just the start of it.”
The German Formula Four championship is one of nine series around the world, run to the same regulations to allow young racing drivers to learn their craft in similar cars.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Douglas Beattie