Eifel GP | Poor weather scuttles practice sessions

Mick Schumacher’s anticipated debut a non-starter

October 09, 2020 10:13 pm | Updated 10:13 pm IST - NURBURGRING

Bad weather denied Mick Schumacher his Formula One practice debut and wiped out track action at the Eifel Grand Prix on Friday, with the medical helicopter grounded by fog and cars unable to run.

Pit lane exit closed

Organisers had set the clock running for the 90-minute opening session at a cold and damp Nurburgring but kept the pit lane exit closed.

After half-hourly updates, they announced there would be no running. The afternoon session at the German circuit was similarly timed out.

Schumacher, the Formula Two championship leader and son of seven-times World champion and former Ferrari great Michael, had been due to replace Italian Antonio Giovinazzi at Alfa Romeo for the morning only.

The debut had attracted global interest, with Schumacher stepping onto the Formula One stage at the circuit closest to his father’s childhood home in Kerpen and one where his father won five times.

Valuable experience

Schumacher put a brave face, telling reporters he still gained valuable experience from working inside the team. “Obviously I would have loved to get out and drive,” said the 21-year-old. “Nevertheless I think it's great to be here, to get the opportunity to work with the engineers and also to see the fans.

Race director Michael Masi explained that the medical helicopter had to be able to fly for safety reasons because the nearest hospital was too far away by road should something occur.

The Nurburgring is making its return to the calendar for the first time since 2013 after Formula One had to rip up its original schedule and bring in some new venues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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