The 19-year-old son of seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher is favourite to clinch the European F3 title with Prema this weekend. F1 motorsport managing director Ross Brawn, who worked with Schumacher during his title-winning years at Ferrari, said last week a move into F2 would be the next “logical step” for Schumacher’s son.
But Stroll, who won the championship with Prema two years ago before graduating straight to F1, believes Mick Schumacher could do the same as him.
Asked whether Schumacher would benefit from racing in F2 before graduating to F1, Stroll said “it’s very driver-dependent.
“I don’t think there’s a right or wrong. Some drivers get a chance to get into Formula 1 and you have to go for it. Other drivers are in different situations. It’s very dependent from driver to driver, everyone has their own unique situation.”
Stroll had the benefit of a special private testing programme using a 2014-specification Williams before making his F1 debut last year.
“I drove the old car a lot but the step to the new regulations [meant] the new car was, compared to their 2014 car, seven seconds faster,” he said.
Coming from F3 to F1 the hardest thing to get used to was not the power but setting up the car and adjusting to F1’s high-degradation tyres, Stroll explained.
“The power you get used to quickly, it’s really how to optimise the car. The tyres also.
“It’s definitely a big jump from Formula Three, you’re looking at like 15 seconds – probably more – 20 seconds of lap time depending on the track. It’s definitely a big jump.”
Stroll said he has been following Schumacher’s progress with his former team. “He’s done a really good job, especially in the second half of the season. Looks like he’s put it all together.
“The championship’s not over yet, I hope he can seal the deal,” Stroll added. “He’s got a pretty good gap. I hope for himself and the team they can finish it.”
Lando Norris, who succeeded Stroll as champion last year, spent this season racing in F2 and will drive for McLaren in F1 next year.