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Mick Schumacher has to defend himself against accusations of racism

Friday should actually be a special day in Mick Schumacher’s (21) career. The seat rehearsal for his first Formula 1 car, the Haas VF-21, was on the agenda for the team in England. You can see the young Schumacher beaming in photos. He has finally made it to Formula 1 and clearly feels at home with the US team. And yet a little later, the son of record world champion Michael completely lost his laughter.

Because in the evening Mick still has to defend himself on social media as usual with the race stewards after an apparently unsuccessful maneuver. “I was misinterpreted after an interview recently on a question about political activism,” he writes. “Just to make it clear: I am against all forms of injustice and inequality and support the fight against racism.”

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What happened? In an interview with the Italian daily La Stampa, Schumacher was asked for his opinion on Lewis Hamilton’s commitment against racism and for more sustainability. Mick preferred not to comment on the topic – knowing full well that any spontaneous statement about it could always be misunderstood.

Schumacher experiences typical escalation in social media

But that’s exactly what happened to the denied comment, which went viral on social media – and for which the Haas pilot was heavily criticized. True to the motto: If you are not for it, you are against. A much too shortened rating of the spontaneous reaction, but a typical escalation on social media.

Even before his first GP race, Mick Schumacher had to find out how difficult it can be to drive on the ideal media line.

Mick has to defend himself against accusations of racism

Mick Schumacher seat rehearsal in the Haas

Of course, dealing with such annoyances is part of the professional existence of a public person. But Mick Schumacher is not just any racing driver. Due to his descent from the best Formula 1 driver of all time and after his fateful skiing accident in 2013, he is under more scrutiny than any other young man. The long shadow of the father can also be overwhelming. And that is exactly why we journalists have a responsibility: to curb excessive expectations, avoid escalation, kindly refrain from underhanded questions.

Trick question about father Michael Schumacher

Another passage in the interview shows how much the Italians overshot their target. La Stampa Schumacher junior tries to elicit the answer as to whether he has spoken to his dad about the upcoming Formula 1 debut. A trick question, as an answer would also give an insight into Michael Schumacher’s state of health.

The example shows how a simple interview can quickly turn into a complicated hurdle race for Schumi junior. After all: Mick Schumacher took the last hurdle brilliantly. The subject was private and he would like to talk about motorsport again, he politely asked the reporter.

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The biggest difference to the politics topic around Lewis Hamilton: Mick has long had practice in turning around relevant questions about his private life. But the young man is extremely capable of learning. In the future he will also take the political chicane without being undermined. Hopefully he won’t lose the fun of racing with all the bumps in the road.

Formula 1 on TV

Formula 1 will run at Sky in 2021. The station is setting up its own TV station for the new era: Sky Formula 1. Here there is motorsport 24 hours a day. All training sessions, all qualifying sessions, all races always live and without commercial breaks. Sky also broadcasts the Formula 2, Formula 3 and Porsche Supercup races. The program also includes historical races and special programs. You can find more information here.
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