MAX FEELS FOR MICK: Max Verstappen has loads of sympathy for Mick Schumacher making headway into F1, without the help of his father - Michael Schumacher. Image: AFP / Tom Gandolfini
London - Max Verstappen has predicted a tough road to Formula 1 for Michael Schumacher's son Mick.
Michael is still recovering from a 2013 skiing accident in Switzerland.
The young Dutchman was 17 when he made his sensational grand prix debut in 2015 - the same age that Mick is today (May 3).
Verstappen's father Jos, who was once the great Michael Schumacher's team mate, caused a stir in April 2016 when he said young Mick is not as good as the seven-time world champion.
Big shoes to fill
Verstappen Jnr. told bild am Sonntag newspaper: "I have only seen Mick in karting.
"His situation is difficult. He has such an incredible amount of pressure, because his father was so successful in F1. Whatever he does, whatever mistake he makes, the cameras are on him."
The Toro Rosso driver said: "It's not easy for him but he's doing it well so far. But going in the footsteps of his father is really not easy - he is the greatest of all time," the young younger Verstappen added."
'Mick misses his father'
Another hurdle for Mick, according to young Verstappen, is that Schumacher is currently not able to help him on the hard path to F1.
Max said: "Of course Mick is missing his father on the way to F1, he is a great personality and could have given him important contacts. It is a shame that Michael cannot support him at the moment."
Reaching the podium in 2017
In contrast, things could hardly be going better for 17-year-old Verstappen, in his second F1 season and now tipped to move up to a top team for 2017.
When asked about the apparent interest of Mercedes and Ferrari, he said: "It is definitely better than if no one is talking about you."
He added: "But the fact is that I feel very comfortable here. My relationship with Red Bull is excellent. But next year (2017) I want to be on the podium, that's for sure."