Mick Schumacher missed out on a Grand Prix weekend debut at the Nurburgring after Friday’s first practice did not start due to poor weather.
On a wet and foggy morning in the heart of the Eifel mountains, conditions were deemed unsuitable for the medical helicopter to fly were it required to travel to the nearest hospital and so the pit lane did not open.
The session was initially delayed by 30 minutes before a further half-hour delay was followed by formal cancellation of the weekend’s opening session on safety grounds.
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Schumacher, the 21-year-old F2 title leader, was only scheduled to run for Alfa Romeo in Practice One and so the team will now have to reschedule his debut. The same applies for fellow Ferrari junior Callum Ilott, with the Brit having been due to run with Haas in place of Romain Grosjean.
“Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur has told me if they can’t get out on track with Mick Schumacher here, that’ll be it for the weekend as he won’t run in P2, so they’d have to work a schedule out for elsewhere in the year,” said Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz.
Nico Rosberg, the 2016 world champion, said: “I’m so gutted for Mick and Callum!”
So #FP1 is cancelled. A great shame @callum_ilott was unable to get his first FP1 run under his belt today. #HaasF1 #EifelGP pic.twitter.com/df2VchhrR6
Of the difficult conditions on F1’s return to the Nurburgring after a seven-year absence, FIA race director Michael Masi said: “It is a bit challenging. Obviously with the fog that’s come in the medical helicopter is not able to take off and fly to the hospital. The distance by road is far too far should something occur.
“The region we’re in is not dissimilar to Austria earlier in the year. The fog has come in and it’s being going up slightly, but then coming down more dramatically. From an FIA perspective, the safety of all the participants going out is paramount and that is not something we would compromise.”
FP1 classification: pic.twitter.com/iHFeCwGVvB
With rain expected throughout the day, attention will now turn to Practice Two and whether conditions improve sufficiently for that session to take place from 2pm BST.
Sky F1’s live Eifel GP schedule
P1 is the second practice session to be cancelled this year due to bad weather.
F1 has never run at the Nurburgring as late in a calendar year as this but, although cold conditions are expected to last all weekend, the forecast is slightly more favourable for Saturday and Sunday.
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