Mick Schumacher has won the Formula 2 championship ahead of his step up to Formula One with Haas next year.
The son of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher beat fellow Ferrari Driver Academy member Callum Ilott to the title after the championship battle went down to a dramatic final race in Bahrain.
Schumacher needed to finish sixth or higher to guarantee the title on Sunday, but damaged his tyres early in the race and dropped from third to 19th with an unplanned pit stop.
However, Ilott, who needed to win the race or finish second and secure fastest lap to stand a chance of being crowned champion, also struggled with tyre management and finished 11th.
“To be honest, I’m a bit overwhelmed, I don’t yet feel like a champion,” Schumacher said. “It will take a few days I think.
“The guys who I have been driving against this year are absolutely amazing and are on a high level of driving and have been very respectful.
“Callum gave me a run for my money, it’s been a really tough year. So a big thank you to him as well.”
The title victory means Schumacher makes the step up to F1 as both a Formula 2 and Formula 3 champion after it was confirmed this week that he will drive for Haas alongside F2 rival Nikita Mazepin next year.
Schumacher scored just two victories in his second season in F2 this year — one in Russia and one at Monza — but his title campaign was characterised by consistency above all else. In eleven attempts, Schumacher did not score a pole position this year, although a series of fast starts often made up for his qualifying performances.
By the time the F2 series left Mugello in September, Schumacher had taken the lead of the championship from Ilott and over the course of the remaining five races did not let it go. Five drivers were in contention heading into the two races, but ultimately it came down to a straight fight between Schumacher and Ilott on Sunday.
Schumacher’s F1 debut at next year’s Australian Grand Prix will take place over eight years on from his father’s retirement at the end of 2012 and will make him the third member of the family to race in the series along with his uncle Ralf.
His famous name has always drawn attention to his junior career and he raced under his mother’s maiden name “Betsch” in go-karts so as not to draw attention to his early racing results.
On a family skiing holiday in 2013, his father suffered severe head injuries in a fall and, although the seven-time champion survived, details of his health condition remain closely guarded by the Schumacher family.
In interviews since the accident, Schumacher has referred to his father as his “role model” and his “idol”.