Mick Schumacher steps closer to F1 with F3 deal

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Michael Schumacher's son Mick has taken a step closer to Formula One by signing a deal to race in the Formula Three European Championship next season.

The 17-year-old Schumacher has signed a deal with Prema Powerteam, where he will follow in the footsteps of Williams' F1 rookie Lance Stroll.

F1's youngest ever race winner, Red Bull star Max Verstappen, was an F3 driver in 2014, alongside Esteban Ocon, who will race for Force India in the premier class in 2017.

Schumacher has previously raced in ADAC Formula 4 and the Italian F4 Championship with Prema.

And the teenager believes the move can help him on the way to F1, where his father dominated for over a decade with Benetton and Ferrari on his way to a record 91 race wins and seven world titles.

He said in a statement: "F3 will be the ideal step for me to make, and I am totally fired up for the new year to start. 

"I am also really happy about staying with Prema, because this is such a professional team and I will again be able to learn a lot. 

"The next season will surely be challenging, but the tests we've been doing in the past weeks proved the F3 car is extremely fun to drive. I can't wait for 2017 to begin!"