Friday Recap: Eifel Grand PrixOctober 9, 2020
A summary and reaction from Friday at the Nurburgring which saw no Free Practice running due to the weather conditions.
Event: Free Practice 1 & 2 for the Eifel Grand Prix – Friday October 9
Location: Nürburgring, Germany
Layout: 5.148-kilometer (3.198-mile), 15-turn circuit
FP1 & FP2 Weather: Rain & Fog
Drivers: Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen and Callum Ilott (FP1)
Free Practice No. 1 Rundown
Session Cancelled – No Times Set
Free Practice No. 2 Rundown
Session Cancelled – No Times Set
The 11th round of the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship began with practice on Friday at the Nürburgring in Germany as teams prepared for Sunday’s Eifel Grand Prix.
Two 90-minute sessions – FP1 and FP2 – on the 5.148-kilometer (3.198-mile), 15-turn circuit, were scheduled with Ferrari Academy Driver Callum Ilott joining Haas F1 Team’s regular drivers, Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.
FP1 was ultimately cancelled with rain and fog keeping the medical helicopter grounded – conditions failing to improve as the countdown clock ticked down with pit-lane exit remaining firmly closed. Ilott, currently second in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, had been set to make his FP1 debut with Haas F1 Team, with Grosjean vacating his seat to allow the 21-year-old British racer the opportunity. However, both Ilott and Magnussen’s VF-20’s remained firmly parked in the garage before the session was eventually abandoned.
FP2 brought more of the same with the inclement weather continuing into the afternoon, the air temperature hovering around 13 degrees Celsius (55.4 degrees Fahrenheit). Drivers and cars remained in their garages with the pit-lane closed as once again conditions prevented the use of the medical helicopter. The session was officially cancelled one hour into the planned schedule.
Saturday’s forecast promises a relief from the rain but with a cooler air temperature of just 9 degrees Celsius (48.2 degrees Fahrenheit) ahead of qualifying.
Callum Ilott, Driver No. 50, Haas F1 Team
“Obviously it wasn’t the most ideal session from everyone’s point of view. Nevertheless, it’s been a great experience to come here and prepare as a driver would in Formula 1. From that side I’ve learned a lot, it certainly hasn’t been a wasted opportunity. I would have loved to have been able to go out and do some laps of course, but unfortunately the weather set against that. Hopefully I can get another opportunity before the end of the year, but if this is the only one then it’s been an experience. I have to take away from it all the positives I can - even with what’s happened, I’ll be better prepared for another opportunity.”
Romain Grosjean, Driver No. 8, Haas F1 Team
“We have a sport that is weather dependent and today the weather wasn’t kind to us. It’s a shame for the young driver that was set for his first FP1, it’s a shame for the fans that came today, and for us too as we love driving these cars. Obviously, conditions didn’t allow us to go out so I guess there’s a lot of work to be done tomorrow.”
Kevin Magnussen, Driver No. 20, Haas F1 Team
“It was frustrating not to get any running today. Of course, it’s not a disadvantage because nobody got to run, but still I was looking forward to getting on track. I feel for the fans that were here in the grandstands today. They’ve been sitting out all day today in the rain and they’ve had nothing for it. Hopefully we can put on a great show for the rest of the weekend.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team
“Obviously it was a less than ideal day. I’m disappointed for Callum (Ilott) that he didn’t get his planned FP1 outing. It’s just one of these things unfortunately, but he’ll remain with us throughout the weekend – so hopefully that will be a good experience for him. What else can I say really – the weather, as expected, has cost us our Friday practice. It will make our Saturday a little more interesting. It might not rain tomorrow but it’s certainly not going to be warm. We’ll keep our heads down as usual and let’s see what we can extract from final practice and apply in qualifying.”