Mick Schumacher's first test of a Formula One car was always going to attract attention. The fact he's driving a Ferrari only adds to the level of intrigue around his appearance at Bahrain's F1 circuit on Tuesday.
The German's surname means he has always been the centre of attention whenever he has been near the cockpit of a racing car. So much so, in fact, that when he started karting he raced as 'Mick Betsch', opting to use the maiden name of his mother rather than the Schumacher name synonymous with his father Michael's record 91 grand prix victories and seven world championships. That the elder Schumacher won five of those titles with Ferrari during the most dominant spell in F1's history should help explain why Tuesday's test is so special.
Mick was just 14 when his father suffered a serious head injury while they were skiing together in December 2013. Although Michael's health is a closely-guarded secret -- several have made evasive attempts to break the Schumacher family's privacy -- it is believed he still requires care and he has not been seen in public since.
It was in that tragic backdrop that Mick's journey to racing properly began, with a series of tests of a Formula 4 car in 2014 followed by a step up to the ADAC Formula 4 cateogry the following year, by this time racing under the Schumacher name. In 2016 he won five races in the ADAC and Italian F4 championships, which led to a step up to the prestigious European Formula 3. After a quiet first season in the series, Schumacher won eight races in 2018, beating Red Bull junior Dan Ticktum to the championship with the Prema team he will contest this year's Formula 2 championship with. More than add a prestigious title to his resume, it proved Schumacher was about more than just about his name.
His rise was closely monitored by Mercedes, who backed both Michael and Mick's junior careers, and Ferrari. The younger Schumacher, who turned 20 in March and bears a striking resemblance to Michael, was signed to the latter's driver academy at the start of this year. For a generation of F1 fans who grew up watching the sport in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Schumacher was Ferrari, and vice versa, making it seem like a natural fit.
Schumacher has technically been in an F1 car before, taking his dad's title-winning 1994 Benetton car for a lap of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit ahead of the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix. But Tuesday will be his first taste of up-to-date F1 machinery and he will get a second day at the wheel with Alfa Romeo on Wednesday, utilising the full benefits of being a Ferrari junior.
There is no guarantee of what will follow his test, beyond completing his F2 commitment this season. His F1 future is likely to hinge on his competitiveness in that championship -- last year's top three finishers, George Russell, Lando Norris and Alexander Albon are F1 rookies this year, but had the benefit of seats opening up for them to coincide with their competitive seasons in the championship's feeder category.
It's hard to imagine Ferrari not finding a way to accommodate Schumacher if he were to win the championship this year or next, with close partnerships at Haas and Alfa Romeo giving the Italian team two possible entry points for the young German. Many assume his elevation to F1 will happen sooner rather than later, but there remains a wariness of rushing him up the ladder too soon.
What they've said about him
Five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton: "I don't think [his surname] will a burden. There will 100 percent be a Schumacher back in F1, partly because of the name but secondly because he is doing a good job.
"He obviously has a lot of talent like his dad had, just like Keke and Nico [Rosberg], just like when Fernando has kids, I am sure Alonso will be here again! Even if I have a kid that wants to race, and even if he is no good, he can make it to F1 because of the name.
"[But Mick] is doing a really great job, he is a really great kid, he has come to [grands prix] and been a part of our team a couple of weekends last year. He has got great talent like his dad has, so I don't think it will be a burden. I think he could be great for the sport."
F1 motorsport boss Ross Brawn (boss of Ferrari during Ferrari's dominant spell): "I've known Mick since he was a little boy, and it's been fascinating. I think there was a period when he wasn't sure, but he has now got the bit between his teeth and he is a very determined young man. I think it is fascinating how his competitiveness kicked in during Formula 3 last year, and you've seen it again in Formula 2 in the first test. People who know him, or spend more time with him than I do, say there has been impressive progress in his driving career in the last 12 months or so.
"But he is a very nice young man, and staying like that with the pressures and challenges that come, that will be one of the things that will be challenging for him. But I'm sure he will, he's got a very balanced family and they have all known the experience from Michael, so they will know how to handle it if Mick is successful. But it's very exciting and there are so many times when I see Mick and I see Michael in him, so it would be wonderful. But there is tremendous pressure on the lad, so I hope people can keep that in perspective and not hook unrealistic expectations on him."
Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel: "Obviously with the name and the son of Michael there's certainly some expectation, but to end up in Formula One you need to prove that you have the speed. So far he has done really well and deserves his chance. Now we should give him time to do his job.
"It's not easy as it is for him but, on the other hand, he's used to it, so we'll see. But for sure it's big excitement for the test."
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff: "The most important [thing] is to give him time. He has this incredible legacy of having a father who was the most successful racing driver of all-time.
"He's won F3, ticked the box, now he's going into F2, which should be very difficult again against many experienced drivers. I have no doubt he has the potential to be a successful driver in Formula One. Maybe one day with us, maybe not."