The first practice session of the Eifel GP taking place at the legendary track of Nürburgring did not went as we hoped it will go. Because of the difficult conditions regarding the weather, at 12:00 local time the race control issued an update that the pit exit will not be open for the session.
It has been the first time since 2014 that we are back at Nürburgring. Before, Nürburgring and Hockhenheimring were switching between the organisation of the German GP, but after 2014 it was Hockenheim that became the main host of the round. Interestingly enough, only 7 drivers out of the current grid ever started an F1 GP at this Nürburgring: Raikkonen, Hamilton, Vettel, Perez, Ricciardo, Grosjean and Bottas. Will that experience help them with the upcoming weekend?
The practice started in low temperatures, and already from the beginning of the racing weekend the drivers and members of teams were seen in more of “winter gear”. On Thursday, the temperatures at Nürburgring were as low as 7C. When it comes to today, the air temperature is currently around 11C of air temperature and 11C of track temperature. This will definitely set an interesting scenario regarding the tyres, as most teams worry about their performance, because such low temperatures are not an usual thing in F1. The forecast for the upcoming days says that the Saturday Quali day might have the lowest temperature of 2C, and the Sundays race of only 9C, making it possibly not only an interesting comeback to Nürburgring, but also possibly the coldest GP in a decade. As said by George Russell in the beginning of the racing weekend: “The tyres will have a risk of graining because you are going to be going really hard on the tyres when they are too cold. The people on the hard tyres are going to really struggle, but it looks like it might be wet during the weekend so that’ll make some interesting activity, let’s hope.”
Although technically the session began, it was delayed by at least 30 minutes due to the issues with the medical helicopter and the weather conditions. Because of the rain and heavy fog around the track it was a necessary precaution, since although the helicopter could fly, it could not reach the closest hospital.
The session has been further delayed at 11:30 for another 30 minute by Michael Masi and FIA, promising further update at 12:00 local time.
A lot of talk was focused on the two F2 youngsters - Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott who were supposed to have their debut in an F1 car during FP1. In case of further delays of the green light for the session, it would mean that unfortunately those two incredibly promising drivers would not be able to have a go, since they could not possibly take part in FP2. That would mean organising another opportunity for them to take part in FP1 during another racing weekend.
At 12:00 local time, we received the information from the race control that the pit lane will remain closed. That means that we will not see anybody having a run at the amazing Nürburgring track till at least FP2.