Mick Schumacher – the son of seven-time F1 world champion Michael – is poised to join the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA), F1i understands.
The 16-year-old is coming off his maiden season in single-seaters, having secured one win and another podium finish with Van Amersfoort Racing in the German Formula 4 championship.
Mercedes also showed interest in Schumacher Jnr and invited him to take part in its “Stars and Cars” event in Stuttgart last December. Between his father’s last two F1 employers, Mick would have eventually picked the Prancing Horse over the Three-Pointed Star.
Schumacher Jnr should then replace Canadian teenager Lance Stroll, who left the FDA for an F1 development driver role at Williams. Although Maranello’s junior programme was rumoured to be under threat early last year, the scheme is set for an overhaul under the stewardship of new director Massimo Rivola.
Mick would stay in F4 but switch to Prema Powerteam, which enjoys close links with Ferrari, and race in both the German and Italian series. The renowned outfit also competes in the FIA European F3 championship and will make its GP2 debut in 2016, thus potentially providing Schumacher Jnr with a clear progression path to move through the junior categories.
Michael Schumacher drove for Ferrari between 1996 and 2006, securing 72 of his 91 career wins as well as five of his seven world titles while in Maranello.