Mercedes wary of Nürburgring's wide weather window as fog and rain to hit Eifel GP
Mercedes is bracing itself for what trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin has described as an "interesting" weekend at the Nürburgring given the miserable weather forecast for the Eifel Grand Prix.
Formula 1 was always taking a gamble on staging a race at the circuit for the first time since 2013 in mid-October due to the likely conditions.
Just a fortnight after racing in 27-to-30 degrees centigrade heat on the Black Sea coast at Sochi, the teams and drivers will be faced with temperatures of around six to 12 degrees, rain, as well as possible mist and fog patches.
In addition to difficulty in finding simulator time for drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas to learn a track last raced on seven years ago, the weather is another headache for a team like Mercedes.
"We've kind of got a bit of a backlog of new circuits this year," remarked Shovlin. "Normally you deal with one or two. There's an awful lot of additional work you do with those new tracks, and ideally, you would get the driver to drive in the simulator.
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"But that's getting increasingly hard because of all the restrictions on Covid because the exemptions only apply to a race weekend. You're not exempt just because you're in F1. It's only specifically for race events.
"So it's proving quite difficult to keep on top of all these new tracks coming, but the actual normal work of selecting how you run the car and everything, that's the same wherever you go, whether it's a well-known circuit or not.
"It's more elements of understanding where we think the tyres are going to be, so the pre-event work is a bit harder from that point of view, and ordinarily we would have had the drivers into the simulator to practice.
"The other big unknown there is just what the weather is going to be doing. It could obviously be quite a wide window, and that might make it interesting."
Shovlin claims that F1 has changed so much in such a short period of time that any information from 2013 will now be irrelevant, "especially if the track has been resurfaced or had any modifications in that time," he added.
'But the tyres are so different to when we were there before, the cars are very different, the power units are different, so there isn't really a lot you can take from it.
"Maybe the drivers are a bit further down the journey of learning the track if they've driven it in the past, but from our point of view, that information is quite out of date now."
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