Mick Schumacher said that the Ferrari which he tested in Bahrain in his first official Formula 1 drive “felt like home”.
Schumacher finished the opening day of the first in-season test of 2019 in second position at a touch under six tenths slower than Max Verstappen, albeit on tyres two steps softer.
The outing was his first genuine F1 running, having driven father Michael’s Benetton B194 at Spa in 2017.
“It was astonishing,” said Schumacher of the Scuderia Ferrari SF90.
“The feeling I had, going out, first time on the throttle and everything, was ‘this thing has serious power’.
“I felt good. There’s so much potential in the car in terms of speed through the corners and traction and everything, that it’s hard to describe and I’m sure there’s a lot more to come.
“It was nice, it was really feeling like home already.
“It was beautiful to make those first laps, and obviously seeing all the guys working with the car, working with me. I felt very comfortable, I felt like home.”
The 2018 FIA Formula 3 European champion had moved to the top of the timing screen after a long rain delay, before being bumped by Verstappen with five minutes to go.
He was not, however, downbeat about ultimately missing out on the fastest lap of the day.
“Obviously Max has a lot of experience so seeing, comparing to him, I think we can be very happy,” declared Schmuacher.
“We’ve done our job, and at the end I was very happy about how I felt in the car and how confident I was. I think it was a very good day.”
Mileage was relatively limited due to the rain which fell in Sakhir but the 20-year-old German was happy with his progress.
“Every single time I went out I learned something new – about how to drive the car, about the feeling I had in the car, the feeling I was looking for in the car. And I think we managed really well,” he explained.
“I think the harmony in the team was really good and I learned well.”
Schumacher will drive with the Ferrari-affiliated Alfa Romeo team when the second and final day of the test takes place from tonight (AEDT).