FORMULA 1 PREVIEW: EIFEL GRAND PRIX

 



 

Nurburg: Formula One raced onto the weekend after a two-week break but ominously halted by perennial rain on Friday as both free practices scheduled were abandoned. The free practices on Friday were significant to Haas F1 Team and Alfa Romeo and the fans as well as Mick Schumacher and Calum Illot were scheduled to drive for their respective teams during the first free practice. But, the constant downpour at Nurburgring saw the cars never leave the garages as the pit exit remained closed. The wet track at Nurburgring was not the only issue but the medical helicopter deployed at the track would not able to navigate through the thick rain and fog to the nearest hospital in Koblenz. It takes 20 minutes for a medical helicopter to transport an injured driver to Koblenz but the rain and fog will not have allowed the helicopter to successfully transport the injured racers and the FIA would have been forced to travel by road and it takes 45 minutes to Koblenz from the track and it was not simply acceptable because 45 minutes is too long of a time for any racer who might have had injured seriously during the weekend.

FIA continues to put the driver’s safety at the top of its agenda and even though serious injuries and deaths became rare in modern Formula 1, the regulatory body could not make a decision that could potentially prove fatal to any of the racers on the track. The tragic death of the French racer Anthoine Hubert last year provided a grim reminder to the racing world that accidents could not be totally ruled out in Formula 1.

It is yet to be seen if the skies above Nurnurgring would clear up for the third free practice session and the qualifying session on Saturday. Friday proved to be miserable for a handful of fans who were permitted access to Nurburring and who had hoped to see Mick Schumacher, the son of the legendary Michael Schumacher to have a go in the Formula 1. Still, Mick Schumacher would bag a chance soon to drive in F1 if Alfa Romeo decided to drop Antonio Giovinazzi or Kimi Raikkonnen decided to retire. As for the Haas team, they are yet to name the racers for the next season and Calum Illot has had been seriously considered following his successes in Formula 2.

The fans would be praying to the weather gods to clear up the clouds in Germany this weekend as this is the first time a Formula 1 race is being held at Nurburgring since 2013. Formula 1 changed to an extreme extent since 2013. Sebastian Vettel won his only German win in 2013 when Nurburgring held the race last time. Since then, Vettel is yet to have won a race in Germany and the current Ferrari car has been ruled out for the rest of the season to provide any ample competition to Mercedes and Red Bull let alone winning any races. On Friday, the much derided AWS graphics had shown that Ferrari is the only team to have lost time over the span of the current season with Renault and several other mid-table teams to have gained a significant amount of time. If the race were to go forward with the weather permitting, Mercedes is the favourite to win at Nurburgring but the track has had never been one to provide a straight-forward run of the mill race and Red Bull, Renault and Racing Point could hope for multiple podium positions.


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