Schumacher and Ilott denied dream day by nightmare weather
What could've been a great experience for two young drivers turned into a frustrating one...
This weekend was not only meant to be headlined by the return to the Nürburgring, but also potential opportunities for F2 drivers Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott to take an F1 car for a spin. Schumacher had linked up with Alfa Romeo, while Ilott was with Haas. Both drivers were set to take part in the first free practice session, but a nasty spell of weather had other ideas.
Friday morning saw a dreadful dose of rain, not a shock to those who had checked the forecast, but an annoyance nonetheless. Due to potentially unsafe conditions on track, as well as the inability to fly the medical helicopter over the circuit, both FP1 and FP2 were cancelled, bad news for all involved, but especially Schumacher and Illot, who would've been looking forward to such an amazing opportunity.
Mick Schumacher donning the Alfa Romeo gear ahead of FP1
Mick Schumacher is, of course, the son of legendary former F1 world champion Michael Schumacher, and a combination of his heritage and his raw talent saw him land a place with the Ferrari Driving Academy in 2019 after impressive spells in Formula 4 and Formula 3. Schumacher is currently leading the 2020 F2 Championship as part of the Prema Theodore Racing team.
The 21-year-old has recently been linked to an Alfa Romeo seat for the 2021 season, with neither Raikkonen nor Giovinazzi yet signed to the team for next year. Alfa Romeo of course have strong ties to Ferrari, the team Mick's father famously won multiple world championships with. Alfa Romeo have also not been shy to taking on young talent in recent year, either as Alfa Romeo or Sauber. Charles Leclerc is a perfect example of a driver who was given an opportunity by Alfa Romeo, capitalised on it and is now driving for Ferrari themselves, although that doesn't like much of an honour right now.
As for Callum Ilott, he was set to participate in FP1 for the Haas team. Haas also have a connection to Ferrari and Ilott is also a part of the Ferrari Driving Scademy, joining in 2017. He was the first British driver to join the FDA. Ilott has impressed in Formula 3, GP2 and GP3 along the way, and currently finds himself in 2nd place in the 2020 F2 World Championship, just behind the aforementioned Schumacher, driving for UNI-Virtuosi. Ilott has taken part in in-season F1 testing in the past, taking the Alfa Romeo C38 for 41 laps before crashing out.
Both drivers will be hopeful of more opportunities in the future, and with the current speculation surrounding available seats for the 2021 season, don't be surprised to see both men in a Formula One car sooner rather than later.