Schumacher and Ilott FP1 debuts likely deferred until Abu Dhabi

Ferrari is likely to differ the FP1 outings of Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott that were scheduled at the Eifel GP on Friday until Abu Dhabi later this season.

Adverse weather conditions at the Nürburgring that would not have allowed F1’s medical helicopter to take flight wreaked havoc on Friday’s schedule, with both scheduled practice sessions being called off.

The upcoming next three rounds for F1 at Portimão, Imola and Istanbul will take place at tracks where teams will need to rely on their usual drivers to collect data associated with the mostly unfamiliar venues, while Imola will also host its event over a shortened two days.

    Read also: FP2 call-off washes out first day of Eifel GP running

“It’s obviously a shame for them, it would have been a great opportunity here to make their debuts in F1,” Binotto said.

“Obviously we may try to re-arrange in the next races, but it will be very difficult.

“I think the next one, Portimao, a new circuit for everyone, for F1, so I think our top drivers will need to practice as well.

“We’ve got Imola, which is only a Saturday and Sunday, and then to Turkey again, new circuit.

“And then it’s Bahrain, where they’ve got their F2 races, and to conclude the championship, so they need to be focused.

“Very likely the next opportunity now will be Abu Dhabi and not earlier.

“Obviously it’s a missed opportunity, but again, we have no choice.”

Schumacher naturally lamented the unfortunate timing of the lousy weather in his home country.

“Obviously it’s been a shame not to get out,” said the current leader of the F1 championship. “But we knew that the weather forecast didn’t look great.

“This time of year in the Eifel it’s not the most sure it’s going to be dry. We knew it might be wet and it was. At the end the preparation was good, we done a lot of meetings and I got so much knowledge of it so it’s been very helpful.”

Schumacher’s fellow Ferrari Driver Academy member was equally disappointed by Friday’s wash-out, but insisted that preparations for his FP1 run it had still been a learning experience.

“Obviously it wasn’t the most ideal session from everyone’s point of view,” said Ilott. “Nevertheless, it’s been a great experience to come here and prepare as a driver would in Formula 1.

“From that side I’ve learned a lot, it certainly hasn’t been a wasted opportunity.

“I would have loved to have been able to go out and do some laps of course, but unfortunately the weather set against that.

“Hopefully I can get another opportunity before the end of the year, but if this is the only one then it’s been an experience. I have to take away from it all the positives I can – even with what’s happened, I’ll be better prepared for another opportunity.”

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