The opening practice session for Formula 1’s Eifel Grand Prix has been cancelled amid poor weather conditions at the Nurburgring.

FP1 faced two 30-minute delays before the 90-minute session was ultimately cancelled altogether with drivers unable to take to the track due to the conditions preventing the on-site medical helicopter to fly.

With the nearest hospital over 20 minutes away by road, F1’s regulations state that the medical helicopter must be able to take off and fly to its destination in the event of an emergency.

But persistent rain and cold conditions, including a low cloudbase and fog, has led to poor visibility at the Nurburgring on Friday morning.

Although the pit lane was closed, the countdown clock did begin as scheduled at 11:00 local time and continued to tick down throughout the practice session.

At 12:00 local time, race control confirmed the session would not start and was officially cancelled.

"It's a bit challenging with the fog and the medical helicopter cannot take off and fly to hospital,” F1 race director Michael Masi said after the initial delay.

"At the moment we have started the countdown clock for FP1 and will provide updates every 30 mins. We've also advised the teams we will give them a 10-minute warning.

"It's the nature of the area and location. We will judge a time, from an FIA point of view the safety of all participants is paramount and not something we will compromise."

The cancellation has denied Ferrari F1 juniors Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott the opportunity to make their anticipated practice debuts for Alfa Romeo and Haas respectively.

F1 is visiting the Nurburgring for the first time in seven years, with the German venue stepping in to replace rounds on the original 2020 calendar which were shelved because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Second practice is due to get underway at 15:00 local time, three hours’ from now.

 

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