Michael Schumacher's son Mick has earned his Ferrari Formula One test and should be allowed the space to get on and show what he can do, four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel said on Thursday.
Vettel will be sharing Ferrari testing duties with the 20-year-old at Bahrain's Sakhir circuit next week after the second grand prix of the season.
"Obviously, with the name and being the son of Michael, there’s certainly some links and expectations," said the German, who grew up idolising his older compatriot and was given the nickname ‘Baby Schumi’ early in his career.
"The way he has developed in the last years, he deserves where he is now. Now we should give him the time and the peace to do his job."
Mick Schumacher, who makes his Formula Two debut in Bahrain this weekend after winning last year's European Formula Three championship, told a crowded media session that he was not about to get carried away.
A member of Ferrari's young driver academy, the son of seven-times world champion Michael will also test for Alfa Romeo.
"I don’t really focus on that at the moment," he told reporters when asked about his test schedule.
"For me, really, it’s important to start the season in F2 and then move on afterwards as everything is settled."
Schumacher’s father spent 11 seasons at Ferrari, winning five of his record seven championships with them between 2000-04.
The German, who hasn’t been seen in public since suffering serious head injuries in a skiing accident in 2013, is also the most successful driver of all time with a record 91 wins.
Mick, who has yet to drive a modern-day Formula One car, said he was happy with who he was.
"Obviously, I’m the son of my dad and I’m happy that I am,” he said.
"What he’s done is the best ever in F1 so it’s something I look up to and I’m happy to have him as my dad. I guess I’ve had the time and the chance to grow into that.”
Alfa Romeo driver and Ferrari-backed Italian Antonio Giovinazzi said Schumacher should just make the most of the moment.
"The first day in an F1 car will never happen again, so just enjoy," he said.
Alonso to test with McLaren
Two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso will test with McLaren in Bahrain next week after Sunday's Grand Prix, his first time in an F1 car for five months, the team said on Thursday.
The 37-year-old Spaniard left Formula One at the end of last season but remains close to the team as an ambassador and also as a driver competing in the Indianapolis 500 with a McLaren entry in May.
McLaren have an all-new lineup this year in Spaniard Carlos Sainz and British rookie Lando Norris.
McLaren said Alonso will carry out tyre testing duties for Pirelli at Sakhir on Tuesday and Wednesday next week in a second car provided by the team in addition to the MCL34.
The Bahrain in-season test will also feature Michael Schumacher's 19-year-old son Mick, driving for both Ferrari and Alfa Romeo.
British racer Dan Ticktum will make his test debut for Red Bull, who also have Max Verstappen at the test.