Championship leaders Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott will be unleashed in Formula 1 machinery on a Grand Prix weekend for the very first time at the Nürburgring, as part of their roles in the Ferrari Driver Academy.
Both racers will be let loose in Free Practice 1 at the Eifel Grand Prix, with Schumacher taking to the Alfa Romeo C39 and Ilott climbing into the Haas Vf-20.
The outing is a reward for their successful seasons so far, with Schumacher currently leading the Drivers’ Championship, 18 points ahead of Ilott.
Schumacher has two wins and 10 podiums already this season and will step into Antonio Giovinazzi’s car at his home event in Germany.
“I am overjoyed to get this chance in Free Practice,” said the German. “The fact that my first participation in a Formula 1 weekend will take place in front of my home audience at the Nürburgring makes this moment even more special.
"I would like to thank Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN and the Ferrari Driver Academy for giving me the opportunity to get another taste of Formula 1 air one-and-a-half years after our common test drive in Bahrain.
"For the next ten days I’m going to prepare myself well, so that I can do the best possible job for the team and gain some valuable data for the weekend.”
Both men have tested F1 machinery before, but never on a Grand Prix weekend. Schumacher in the Ferrari SF90 at Bahrain last year, and Ilott in the Alfa Romeo at Barcelona last season.
Ilott, who has three wins and five podiums this season, added: “It’s a real privilege to get my first run in a free practice session, especially to do it with Haas F1 Team. It’s amazing to have this chance at a track that is one of my favourites – it was where I scored the first podium of my career back in 2015.
"The Nürburgring means a lot to me and is a track with a real heritage, so it’s great that I’ll have my first outing at a Formula 1 race weekend there. Thanks to Haas F1 Team and to the Ferrari Driver Academy for giving me such a great opportunity. It should be really fun and exciting. I plan to make the most of it, I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
Fellow title rival, Robert Shwarztman, will also make his Grand Prix weekend debut this year, with Ferrari confirming that he will get a chance on the final Friday of the 2020 Championship in Abu Dhabi.
The F2 rookie is fifth in the Championship, with three wins and five podiums, and has never previously driven F1 machinery.
Ferrari have also confirmed that all three of them will take part in a test session with the team’s 2018 car, at Fiorano on Wednesday.
Laurent Mekies, FDA Director and Ferrari Sporting Director, concluded: “We wanted to organise this test session so that our three best youngsters would be as well prepared as possible to tackle an event that will always be a special moment for them.
“It will be a chance to get to grips with a Formula 1 car, which is much more complicated than the car they are currently used to driving.
“I would like to thank Haas and Alfa Romeo Racing for offering Callum, Mick and Robert this opportunity. We believe strongly in our Academy, which has already proved its value, with Charles Leclerc, a driver on which the Scuderia can build its long-term future.
“Callum, Mick and Robert have already proved their worth in the current Formula 2 season and this test is a further step in their education.”