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Five things to expect from the Eifel Grand Prix

Five things to expect from the Eifel Grand Prix



Five things to expect from the Eifel Grand Prix

Five things to expect from the Eifel Grand Prix

Formula 1 returns to the Nürburgring for the first time since 2013 and a second chance for Lewis Hamilton to equal the all-time win record of Michael Schumacher.

Much of the build-up to the Russian Grand Prix focused on Hamilton's quest for a 91st F1 victory, only for him to fall short. The bid now moves to a track where Schumacher was a five-time winner.

After previously being badged as the Luxembourg Grand Prix, the European Grand Prix and the German Grand Prix, the Nürburgring will now host the Eifel Grand Prix, the event named after a nearby mountain range.

With expectations high for an entertaining race, here are five pointers on what to expect.

Rain, rain and more rain!

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At the time of writing, rain is forecast to fall almost relentlessly from Friday to Sunday.

While the thought of drivers navigating the already daunting Nürburgring layout with rain constantly playing a part is more than a little entertaining, it could also make for a rather dull spectacle with limited running.

The reason is that the drivers have only three sets of the full-wet tyre and four of the intermediate compound.

If the forecast is correct and only these compounds are required, there could be a lot of quiet moments on track, with teams saving the rubber for qualifying and the race.

Hamilton's record attempt

After failing to equal the 91 wins of Schumacher at the Russian Grand Prix, Hamilton now has a second bite of the cherry.

It would perhaps be more appropriate for him to match such a feat on German soil, and at a circuit where Schumacher won in 1995, 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2006.

Hamilton has only managed one victory at the Nürburgring, albeit from only three attempts, a statistic he will hope to improve on Sunday.

Schumacher and Ilott's F1 debuts

F2 frontrunners Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott will make their F1 debuts in practice one on Friday.

Schumacher will drive for Alfa Romeo, a team he is strongly rumoured to be joining for 2021, while Ilott will compete for Haas.

Both men are part of Ferrari's academy and are drivers the Scuderia likely feel are ready to make the jump to F1.

The predicted rain may make the situation a little harder for the duo, but should they fare well in the difficult conditions, it will only enhance their chances of a full-time drive.

Mentions of 2007

The 2007 European GP at the circuit proved to be one of the most chaotic of recent times, notably as the heavens opened just before the start, and with the entire field bar one driver - debutant Markus Winkelhock who had dived in for a change of tyres at the end of the formation lap - starting on slicks.

On lap one, there were calamitous scenes as drivers slithered off the track, while then championship leader Hamilton was involved in a collision that resulted in him picking up a puncture.

On lap four the race was red-flagged due to a number of drivers sliding off at turn one into the gravel even though they had switched to full wets, including Hamilton who was controversially craned back on to the circuit and allowed to continue racing.

The race restarted behind the safety car, with Hamilton going on to finish ninth behind then McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso, missing out on a podium for the first time in his F1 career after starting it with nine in a row.

The Honda fallout

In a surprise twist, Red Bull has been left without a power unit supplier for 2022 after Honda announced it was pulling the plug on its F1 efforts.

After a troubled period with McLaren, Honda has thrived in its partnership with Red Bull, with Max Verstappen winning four races, while AlphaTauri and Pierre Gasly boosted the total further by taking the chequered flag in Italy.

What Red Bull do next is the subject of fevered speculation, with the situation likely to be cleared slightly by team principal Christian Horner over the weekend.

Before you go...

How to watch the Eifel Grand Prix: Free, online, live stream and F1 TV

Nürburgring a "demanding all-round test of the car" - Wolff

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