F1 Nation has talk of win record, Nurburgring, Ferrari juniors and more
F1 Nation's latest episode delves into the topics of the F1 win record, the Nurburgring, Ferrari's juniors, and more.
The latest F1 Nation episode began, much like those preceding it, began with a reflection on the race that had been run prior to its release: this time, the Eifel GP. A natural starting point in this particular discussion was the record-equaling achievement from Lewis Hamilton, with the two hosts praising his performance.
Both of the hosts stressed the significance of the feat, also touching on the challenges of a two-day weekend, which ultimately did the racing product a favor. Once more on the topic of Hamilton, Mercedes' Andrew Shovlin then joined the show, first discussing the type of driver the Briton has developed into over seven seasons with the German team.
Shovlin contrasted Hamilton and Michael Schumacher, both of whom he has closely worked with. The Mercedes F1 engineer characterised the two with two defining traits, the biggest being remarkable adaptability. After his cameo ended, Tom Clarkson and Alex Jacques digested what he had said, also discussing the championship favorable title chances of Red Bull and Max Verstappen in 2021.
After this, German journalist Michel Schmidt offered his perspective on the two sporting giants, also telling TC and AJ about the support Schumacher still has in Germany. After this, he also compared the German and Hamilton, saying that the former was more meticulous than the latter, which allowed him to shine, despite being less talented than his British counterpart.
Schmidt also spoke on Nico Hulkenberg, and the rising star that could threaten his chance at an Alfa Romeo drive in F1 in 2021: Mick Schumacher. The German racing journalist also shared the media attention surrounding the F2 talent, and provided his thoughts on the Nurburgring's chance at a return.
Schmidt had an extraordinarily bold take, that being that the Nurburgring Nordschleife could make a return to the F1 calendar - albeit with revisions from Hermann Tilke - for a quadrennial event in the future. Both of the hosts and he accepted that this is an unlikelihood, but that did not prevent further romanticizing of the idea on behalf of the hosts.
Discussion of what such an event could look like ensued, with the two hosts collectively deciding it would be a marvelous addition to F1, especially so if a young Schumacher was on the grid. TC handily used this as a transition into the segment that followed, which was an interview with Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies.
Mekies discussed the Ferrari driver academy, and the reasons why it has become so successful over the past few seasons, which have seen a multitude of their drivers be promoted to Formula 2 and Formula 3. The Frenchman also covered the upcoming opportunities for their prospects during future practice sessions, doing so with little optimism that any options remain outside of Abu Dhabi.
After his interview ended, a 'quickfire segment' on the Eifel GP followed. Having briefly touched upon each minor topic of discussion from the weekend, the hosts then bid farewell, as the episode drew to a close.
Here's the link to the episode:
TC and Alex speak to Mercedes trackside performance director Andrew Shovlin (9:06), who describes Lewis Hamilton's personal improvements to reach the win record, and why Red Bull are once again closing the gap as the season progresses. Then veteran German journalist Michel Schmitt (17:49) compares the driving talents of Hamilton and Michael Schumacher, explains how Mick Schumacher is already getting more mainstream press attention than Sebastian Vettel, and why the Nurburgring is dreaming of F1 returning to the Nordschleife. Finally, Ferrari sporting director Laurent Meckies explains why the prancing horse is awash with young talent knocking on the door to F1 (32:25).
[This story was written by me for FormulaRapida and edited by Darshan Chokhani]