Carlos Sainz Jr. says he can sympathise with Mick Schumacher over the heightened media attention and expectations through having a famous racing father, but believes the Ferrari youngster is “in a good place right now.”

The son of seven-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher, Mick enjoyed his maiden F1 test earlier this month with Ferrari in Bahrain. The German driver is racing in Formula 2 this season, and is part of Ferrari’s young driver academy.

Schumacher faced significant media interest over the Bahrain weekend, with McLaren F1 driver Sainz – himself the son of a two-time world rally champion – sympathising with the pressure that comes with having a notable surname in motorsport.

“Especially when I was a kid, when I was go-karting, I felt that a lot of people were looking at me and at my results and the way I was going. A lot of kids and racing drivers were focusing a bit on me because being the son of [Sainz],” he explained.

“But it’s something that I got used to, although at the time it was tough. Then I just tried to take the positives from it and having a double world champion as a father I think it only made me a better driver today.

“I think [Mick] is getting a lot of attention these last few weeks because of the F1 test and that’s why I feel for him.

“But sometimes media attention is also not bad. I think he’s in a good place right now.”

Sainz expanded on the attention he faced in karting, explaining how he decided to change his on-track approach after feeling he had a target on his back because of his family.

“Kids are sometimes a bit mean and you want to beat that guy, ‘I want to beat the son of Carlos Sainz more than any other maybe because his father is watching or because more people are watching,’” he said.

“So when I was a kid that was definitely a thing I didn’t like. My dad told me ‘you either bite or you get beaten’. When he told me that, I realised I had to start biting a bit more, or I will get beaten too often.

“Suddenly I started being a bit more aggressive and started earning a bit more respect. I didn’t realise but I was being a bit too nice, too friendly with everyone in wanting to get everyone’s approval and then I started being a bit more aggressive and it was better, definitely."

 

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