Five Questions Ahead Of The Eifel Grand Prix
Rain, drivers needing a good performance, debutants and more. Here are five questions ahead of the Eifel Grand Prix
Will It Rain?
The man, the myth, the Winklehock... Photo Credits: elsanrafaelino.com
Lets start with the big question on everyone's minds, will it rain? As we know in F1, we have all signs pointing towards rain for weeks leading up to the race then come race weekend we have bright and sunny weather.
The Nürburgring does not follow this trend, when it rains, it pours. Long time F1 fans know this from the infamous 2007 European Grand Prix, which produced one of the most iconic moments of the 2000's; Marcus Winklehock leading a Grand Prix in his first race and only race in a Spyker.
There is a 60% chance of rain during qualifying which could make for a mixed up grid. There is also an 80% chance of rain on Friday too which could make things interesting for the F2 boys, Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott, who are getting their first taste of an F1 race weekend in FP1.
As of this writing there is a 60% chance of rain on race day, which has increased from a few days ago, and a maximum temperature of just 9c making for a chilly and wet afternoon. Could this create another "Winklehock" moment for one of the drivers on Sunday?
Can Sainz and Stroll Bounce Back?
After two DNF's in two races for both Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz and losing valuable points to their teammates and rivals, both drivers will be desperate not to make it three DNF's in a row.
Carlos Sainz is currently sitting in P11 in the drivers championship with 41 points, 24 points and 7 places behind teammate Lando Norris. Sainz will be looking to recuperate some of the form from Monza, which saw an incredible P2 finish for him.
Lance Stroll, is in a similar situation to Sainz, he would love to rekindle his form from Monza, finishing P3. Stroll is currently sitting in P8 in the championship with 57 points, 1 point and 1 place above outgoing teammate Sergio Perez.
Keep an eye out for Stroll and Sainz's performance this weekend, will we see a more "safe" and cautious drive from both drivers? Or will we see a Aggressive and attacking drive to make up for the last two pointless outings.
How Will The F2 Boys Get On In FP1?
Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott will make their first appearances in an F1 race weekend, with Schumacher to drive the Alfa Romeo in place of Antonio Giovinazzi and Ilott the Haas, although Haas are yet to confirm who will step aside, in FP1 on Friday.
Both drivers are currently a part of the Ferrari Driver Academy and are direct rivals for the Formula 2 Championship, Schumacher is currently leading the championship on 191 points with 8 podiums and 2 wins to his name, Ilott is in P2 on 169 points with 2 podiums and 3 wins respectively.
As mentioned before, there is an 80% chance of rain on Friday, which means both drivers will get their first taste of F1 action in less than ideal weather conditions, but it will give both drivers the chance to show off their wet weather abilities.
With Schumacher all but confirmed for the Alfa Romeo seat next season, it gives Callum Ilott an audition for Haas and other teams, despite Haas Team Principle Gunther Steiner saying that Ilott is not part of their "shortlist".
How Will Red Bull Respond?
It has been a crazy week for Red Bull. Coming off a strong P2 in Sochi, it looked like Red Bulls only problems were how to close the gap to Mercedes and who was going to be partnering Max Verstappen in 2021, until Honda's shock announcement that they will be pulling out of F1 at the end of 2021.
Also read: WHO WILL BE RED BULLS NEW ENGINE SUPPLIER?
This has prompted many rumours of: Verstappen potentially having a clause in his contract that he can leave if Red Bull do not have a competitive engine, Red Bull taking over the Honda engine program, Red Bull contacting Porsche and even Red Bull pulling out all together in 2021 as they have a clause within their Concorde agreement that allows them to leave.
Once the cars hit the track all the talking stops, and people will be looking at how Red Bull perform, they need a decent weekend by all, including Alex Albon, which would help silence a few critics and prove once again how strong they are as a team.
If another weekend of Albon fighting it out with midfield teams and Verstappen failing to get on the podium, it could put more pressure on all personnel which Red Bull could really do without.
Will It Be: "To Whom It May Concern..."? or "Get In There Lewis!"?
It's the question that's asked every race now and that's down to Mercedes dominance, but which of the two Mercedes drivers will come out on top this weekend?
Coming off a solid win in Sochi, his second win of the season, and gaining points on his teammate for the first time since Monza, Valtteri Bottas will be desperate to close that 44 point gap to keep his championship dreams alive.
Bottas has a large task cutting down a 44 point advantage to Lewis, because as we all know, Hamilton very rarely puts a foot wrong, but he needs to start regularly putting the pressure on his teammate and start winning races, which is easier said than done when you're teammate is a six time World Champion.
Lewis Hamilton, on the other hand, will be looking to snuff out any momentum his teammate will have built from the last race and as we all know, Hamilton usually doesn't let someone get the better of him for too long.
Lewis will also have in the back of his mind that he could match Michael Schumacher's record 91 wins this weekend, in a long term pursuit to also match the Germans 7 Driver Championships.
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