This weekend’s Eifel Grand Prix in Germany marks Lewis Hamilton’s second opportunity to equal Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 grand prix victories in Formula 1.

After the frustration of picking up a penalty for carrying out practice starts in the wrong place which ultimately cost him a chance of victory at the Russian Grand Prix last time out, Hamilton will have added impetus as he looks to reach the milestone win as F1 returns to the Nurburgring for the first time in seven years.

The Mercedes driver was angered by the stewards’ decision to penalise him and initially accused F1 bosses of “trying to stop me”, before later admitting he “may not always get it right” in the heat of the moment.

F1’s penalty points system is likely to be a topic of debate in Germany after the FIA made a rare U-turn by deciding to rescind the two penalty points it had originally given Hamilton for his misdemeanour - which at the time had moved him perilously close to triggering an automatic race ban.

An angry Lewis Hamilton is often a fast Lewis Hamilton and you can expect the Briton to be relentless in his bid to bounce back from his disappointment in Russia and re-establish his authority over the 2020 championship, having seen Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas win and cut his advantage down to 44 points.

Schumacher makes GP weekend debut at home soil

On a weekend Hamilton seeks to match Michael’s record, Schumacher’s son Mick will make his eagerly anticipated grand prix debut bow at the Nurburgring as he takes the place of Antonio Giovinazzi at Alfa Romeo for the opening practice session.

Schumacher currently holds a 21-point advantage at the top of the Formula 2 championship over fellow Ferrari junior Callum Ilott - who will also be in action at the Nuburgring during FP1 for Haas – and has been linked with a full-time F1 seat in 2021, most likely at Alfa Romeo alongside Kimi Raikkonen.

The 21-year-old has driven F1 machinery before for both Ferrari and Alfa Romeo but this outing will mark his first experience during a grand prix weekend, and the first time the Schumacher name has been part of an F1 session since Michael’s last race at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Schumacher will be sure to grab the headlines on Friday as he makes his F1 practice debut in front of his home crowd at the famous German venue.

Driver market latest

Schumacher could well end up being a major player in the 2021 driver market, with some reports claiming he has already been given a guarantee over an F1 drive next year providing he finishes inside the top three of the F2 standings this season.

Media reports in Spain have even suggested that an announcement confirming Schumacher alongside Raikkonen at Alfa Romeo for 2021 could come as soon as this weekend, so keep your eyes peeled for any developments.

Away from Alfa Romeo, the other big transfer talking point is what will happen at Haas. The American squad has made it clear it would be open to shaking up its driver line-up for next season and it has plenty of interested candidates.

There are two Ferrari academy members eager for an F1 seat in the shape of Ilott and reigning Formula 3 champion Robert Shwartzman, while seasoned pros such as Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg are also on the hunt for a drive.

Question marks also remain over the second seat at AlphaTauri alongside Pierre Gasly, with Daniil Kvyat’s position uncertain at this time with rumours swirling over a possible promotion for Honda and Red Bull’s protégé Yuki Tsunoda, who continues to impress in F2.

Will the 2021 driver market puzzle become any clearer this weekend?

When is the Eifel GP on TV?

Friday October 9

Free Practice 1: 10:00am-11:30am BST (11:00am-12:30pm local)
Free Practice 2: 2:00pm-3:00pm BST (3:00pm-4:30pm local)

Saturday October 10

Free Practice 3: 11:00am-12:00pm BST (12:00pm-1:00pm local)
Qualifying: 2:00pm-3:00pm BST (3:00pm-4:00pm local)

Sunday October 11

Race: 1.10pm BST (2.10pm local)

Eifel GP Pirelli tyre allocation:

For the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, Pirelli is bringing the C2 (Hard), C3 (Medium) and C4 (Soft) compounds.

For all of the races in the revised 2020 season, each driver will have an allocation of eight sets of the red-walled Softs, three sets of the yellow-walled Mediums, and two sets of the white-walled Hards.

Recent winners at the Nurburgring:

2013: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
2011: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
2009: Mark Webber (Red Bull)
2007: Fernando Alonso (McLaren)

 

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