MICK SCHUMACHER produced a stunning opening lap to bolster his Formula 2 championship bid on Saturday.
A disappointing qualifying run left the German tenth on the grid ahead of the feature race in Bahrain.
But Schumacher channeled Ferrari legend dad Michael to launch up the rankings on lap one.
Incredible traction off the line saw the 21-year-old pass SIX cars on the opening straight.
At the first turn, he took the inside line and was right on the money with the brakes – allowing him to swoop past his competitors.
And not only did Prema racer Schumacher enjoy a great start, he also saw championship rival Callum Ilott drop from first to second.
An entertaining feature race in the desert saw the rivals battle for position, Ilott temporarily leading after the pit stops before finishing second.
Schumacher’s fourth-placed finish meant the Brit chewed six points into his championship lead.
A 12-point gap keeps the Ferrari academy youngsters apart at the top of the table, before Sunday’s sprint race.
The F2 calendar ends next weekend with the Sakhir GP around the outer circuit of Bahrain’s track.
Whether he can secure the title or not, Schumacher is expected to be awarded a seat in Formula One next year.
Along with Russian starlet Nikita Mazepin, he is tipped to sign for Haas and continue his ascent in the sport his dad dominated for over a decade.