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F1 Eifel Grand Prix qualifying LIVE: Rain wrecks Schumacher debut as FP2 axed, Hamilton lays low – latest updates – The Sun

FORMULA ONE is at the world famous Nurburgring this weekend for the Eifel Grand Prix.

A brand new race for 2020, Lewis Hamilton is looking to continue his superb start to the season which sees him lead the Driver's Championship by 44 points.

Follow all the latest build-up from Germany below…

  • James Orr

    A SCHU IN

    Lewis Hamilton has the chance to equal Michael Schumacher's record of 91 victories in F1 this weekend – not that he's shouting about it.

    In fact, the six-time world champion – who can also win a Schumacher-equalling seventh title this season – seems more focused on his personal crusades against racism and climate change.

    Now 35, Hamilton is more mature than when he won his first title in 2008 and intent on using his social media platforms to educate his 26 million followers on Twitter and Instagram.

    He said: “I've never been a record person but of course when my name is mentioned in the same context as someone I grew up watching, then it's like 'woah'.

    “I have to step back for a second and realise what that actually means. 

    “I think that embarking on these records and achievements creates a platform on which to be able to speak about things that could potentially change peoples lives; for everyone's children to grow up in a better world.

    “As I get older, and understand the world more – as well as the impact that us humans are having on the world.

    “I'm really getting into technology that is sustainable; changing things in my life so I can have a more positive impact.

    “Trying to think of the bigger picture – we are trying to continue to fight to end racism, and discrimination.

    “This is a constant battle that people have been fighting for hundreds of years. It's a constant battle now.”

  • Joe Brophy

    RED LIGHT

    Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas has given his thoughts.

    He told Sky Sports: “We need to be really efficient on what we do.

    “Obviously we have to change every single plan. We'll need short runs for qualifying, and long runs for the race.”

  • Joe Brophy

    TO THE MAX

    Max Verstappen has also spoken of his excitement ahead of the Eifel GP weekend after Friday's session was cancelled due to heavy fog.

    The Red Bull racer who won a wet race in Germany last year, told Sky Sports: “I don't mind [the lack of Friday], I actually like it.

    “It makes everything a bit more tricky and interesting.

    He added: “It's going to be really cold so that is already a challenge to get the tyres like how we want. I think tomorrow is going to be a bit better, and we'll see what happens.”

  • Joe Brophy

    LEW BEAUTY

    Lewis Hamilton has revealed that he is relishing the prospect of a shortened and unpredictable Eifel GP weekend.

    He told Sky Sports: “We probably wouldn't have got a huge amount of running in really because we're limited on tyres, but I would have loved to done even an install lap. But everyone's in the same boat.

    “But I'm definitely [excited], especially if it stays like this. Hopefully clearer skies but wet… it definitely makes it a serious challenge with less practice. So I look forward to that.”

  • <a href='http://www.thesun.co.uk/sport' rel='external nofollow ugc' class='url'>Alex Terrell</a>

    WHAT HAPPENED?

    Practice for the Eifel Grand Prix was a complete wash out after both sessions were scrapped.

    Rain and low clouds meant the medical helicopter was unable to fly due to poor visibility.

    F1 rules mean a hospital must be a maximum of 20 minutes away by ambulance – by road or air – but here it is over 35 miles away by road.

    Race Director, Michael Masi, said: “It is pretty challenging with the fog that's come in, the medical helicopter is not able to take off and fly to the hospital and the distance by road is far too far should something occur.

    “Obviously from an FIA perspective, the safety of all participants, particularly the drivers going out, is paramount and that's not something that we would compromise.”

  • Ben Hunt

    SESSION HAS BEEN SCRAPPED

    So no running today.

    Let's try again tomorrow.

  • Ben Hunt

    NO CHANGE IN THE WEATHER

    Pit lane will remain closed.

    …Just call it off, lads….

  • Ben Hunt

    SO, THE UPDATE…

    The FIA say there has been no change in the weather conditions (fancy that!).

    Another update expected at 4pm local time.

  • Ben Hunt

    10 MINUTES UNTIL AN UPDATE

    The FIA will make another assessment in conjunction with the medical team as to whether the helicopter will fly – or not.

  • Ben Hunt

    THIS WAS FP1…AND IT IS CURRENTLY THE SAME NOW

  • Ben Hunt

    FP2 HAS BEEN DELAYED

    Weather conditions remain the same here in Germany.

    Rain and thick, low cloud.

    It all means the medical helicopter, used in an emergency, cannot fly in these conditions.

    As a result the pitlane stays shut.

  • <a href='http://www.thesun.co.uk/sport' rel='external nofollow ugc' class='url'>Alex Terrell</a>

    MERC SCARE

    Another member of Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes team has tested positive for coronavirus ahead of Sunday's Eifel Grand Prix.

    The world champions retested all of their on-site staff on Thursday after one individual was confirmed to have contracted the disease.

    In all, seven staff have now been pulled from this weekend's race at the Nurburgring. Mercedes have flown out replacements from the UK.

    A Mercedes spokesperson said: “Following yesterday's positive test, the entire team was retested yesterday in Germany.

    “All team members were negative apart from: one further positive, one inconclusive that is being retested.

    “In line with protocols, four further team members, all of whom tested negative, will no longer be available to take part in the weekend.

    “Six replacements have travelled from the UK and will fill the roles in the team.

    “We have worked in close collaboration with the FIA and F1 throughout this process and will continue to do so.”

  • <a href='http://www.thesun.co.uk/sport' rel='external nofollow ugc' class='url'>Alex Terrell</a>

    NO CHANCE

    This wet weather has truly washed out today's FP1.

  • <a href='http://www.thesun.co.uk/sport' rel='external nofollow ugc' class='url'>Alex Terrell</a>

    YOU LOOSE… SO SNOOZE

    One worker at Nurburgring was caught nodding off on a portaloo, with no cars even out on the track

  • Ben Hunt

    FP1 IS DONE

    That's it, the weather has beaten F1.

    The conditions mean there will be no running for Mick Schumacher or Callum Ilott.

    Such a shame.

  • Ben Hunt

    A FURTHER DELAY

    The FIA say there is no change in the conditions, so an update will be made at midday.

    The clock is still ticking, now under 40 minutes left.

  • Ben Hunt

    THIS FROM THE FIA RACE DIRECTOR

    Michael Masi said: “The medical helicopter is not able to take off and fly to the hospital. The distance by road is too far, should something occur.

    “We’ll provide a further update to the teams every 30 minutes. So the next update will be at 11:30 local time, and then a further update at 12.”

  • Ben Hunt

    IT IS NOT LOOKING GOOD HERE

    As I look out of the window, the rain continues to fall but the worst bit is that visibility is getting worse.

    Again, it would be fine to drive, but the main issue here is the medical helicopter cannot fly.

    It is similar to what we have seen before in Japan. It has to be clear for them to take off, should there be an accident.

  • Ben Hunt

    WEATHER WOES

    The cynics will point out that this weather should have been anticipated. They are of course correct.

    But worth remembering that today should have been FP1 in Suzuka – but for the coronavirus pandemic.

    Current conditions there?Heavy rain with a tropical storm predicted to hit the circuit tomorrow.

    Sounds like 2019.

  • Ben Hunt

    DELAY TO FP1

    The clock has started for the session but, due to the misty conditions, the medical helicopter cannot fly, and without that, the cars cannot go out on track.

    So a delayed start of at least 30 minutes, a further update will be made at 11:30am local time.

    Bit of a disappointment for those making their F1 debuts.

  • Ben Hunt

    COLD, WET AND MISERABLE AT THE NURBURGRING

    And no, that's not me, it is the weather here in Germany for the Eifel GP. Confusing title for a confusing race in this patch-work season.

    So why the title? As with the previous 'new' races on the redrawn 2020 F1 calendar, we have seen some curious titles.

    F1 rules say you cannot have two British GPs, lets say, so we had the British GP and the 70th Anniversary GP at Silverstone.

    We also had the Styrian GP at the Red Bull Ring, and the Tuscan GP at Mugello after the Austrian and Italian GPs.

    While there is no German GP this year after Hockenheim was initially left off the calendar, the stand in race at the Nurburgring has been named after the area where the circuit is located.

    So it has been named after the Eifel mountains that run across Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg.

  • Kiro Evans

    SCHU-IN FOR A PLACE ON THE GRID?

    All eyes on Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott this morning as the F2 drivers take temporary place on the grid for FP1 at Nurburgring.

    The two replace Antonio Giovinazzi in the Alfa Romeo and Romain Grosjean's Haas respectively as fans get to see the two men tipped for big things.

    Schumacher particularly is being linked with a move up to F1 next season, with the Ferrari junior driver – and son of driving legend Michael Schumacher – leading the F2 championship standings at the moment.

    But it has not all been plain sailing for the 21-year-old, after he endured a rocky start to the season earlier in the year.

    But then something clicked when he gained victory in Monza last month, and he has been more consistent on race days since.

    He holds a slim lead over Ilott, who will also be hoping for a seat on the F1 grid in 2021 but looks less likely of getting a break.

    A fellow Ferrari junior driver, he is a young man of big potential and is certainly worth keeping an eye on this morning.

  • Kiro Evans

    GOOD MORNING F1 FANS

    Practice session 1 from the Eifel Grand Prix begins from 10am, with the drivers reflecting on the past and looking forward to the future before getting their cars on the track.

    Kimi Raikkonen jokingly summed up his 20-season Formula One career on Thursday as a progression from too inexperienced to too old, with good bits in the middle.

    The evergreen Finn, who turns 41 on Oct. 17, will be making a record 323rd Formula One start at Germany's Nuerburgring on Sunday.

    The 2007 world champion with Ferrari, Raikkonen made his debut with Sauber in 2001 on probation and with experts warning the 21-year-old could cause mayhem after having made only 23 single-seater starts.

    Max Mosley, then president of the governing FIA, was a lone dissenting voice in voting against Raikkonen being granted a super-licence.

    The Alfa Romeo driver, who will beat the record held by Brazilian Rubens Barrichello, has the last laugh — even if behind a now obligatory face mask.

    Raikkonen said: “It started with I didn't have enough experience.

    “And now I'm getting too old, so that they want to get rid of me. In the middle one way it worked okay and now it's not great for some people.”

    Ferrari's most recent champion may not be done yet either, even if he played down speculation that he has agreed an extension for 2021.

    Raikkonen said it would be his decision, and he still enjoyed the racing, but nothing had been signed.

    The “Iceman” remains a fan favourite, renowned for his taciturn responses to questions and determination to be his own man, preferring to do the talking on the track.

    For some of his rivals, he has been around for as long as they can remember.

    Lando Norris said: “He's an incredibly good driver, someone I followed and a very likeable guy and very different to a lot of the drivers.”

    Raikkonen, who joined McLaren in 2002 and Ferrari in 2007, took his first win in Malaysia in 2003 and his last in the United States in 2018.

    Carlos Sainz said: “Even if he thinks it's not a very big milestone or he doesn't care that much, it's obviously very impressive.

    “It's absolutely incredible,” said former Lotus team mate Romain Grosjean of the Finn's career.

    “I've had a really good time with Kimi. He was much less talkative than he is probably today but I learned a lot next to him.

    “Kimi is a great character, a good guy to race wheel to wheel with because you know he's going to leave you the room and have the respect.”

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