Mika Hakkinen has praised Mick Schumacher for dealing with the pressure of his famous surname and "gaining confidence" as his F1 career develops.
Schumacher – son of seven-time World Champion Michael – spent much of his debut 2021 season running at the back of the grid as his Haas team put all their efforts into developing a car for 2022's rules reset.
But while Haas made a clear step forward with their new package, Schumacher initially struggled to live with the pace set by the returning Kevin Magnussen and suffered a number of costly early-season crashes.
Hakkinen sees Schumacher "gaining confidence"
However, after Haas team boss Guenther Steiner declared that it was "not possible" for Schumacher's form to continue, the German managed to turn his season around.
Having gone 30 races without a point, Schumacher broke his duck at the British Grand Prix, before backing it up with further points in Austria.
In his latest blog for Unibet, Hakkinen wrote: "I was really happy to see Mick drive another strong race for Haas and finish sixth, two places ahead of his experienced teammate.
"Mick gets a lot of attention because of his father's reputation, and that brings pressure.
"However, he is a very calm, mature young guy – still only 23 – and he is clearly gaining confidence in himself and his car."
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Hakkinen: Now Mick can really show his capability
Hakkinen has backed Schumacher to continue this positive trend as his sophomore F1 season wears on.
"Last season was his first in F1, a year to learn during which Haas did not have a competitive car," added the two-time World Champion.
"This year we can see that the team has made good progress with the new car and regulations, so the chance is there for Mick to really show his capability."
Schumacher now sits 15th in the standings on 12 points, four places and 10 points adrift of Magnussen.
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