Lessons from the Eifel Grand Prix

Nürburg (AP) – Lewis Hamilton has done it. With his victory at the Nürburgring, the Mercedes driver drew level with Michael Schumacher after Grand Prix successes. The two exceptional drivers now have 91. Hamilton has already broken Formula 1 records – and will be targeting more.

HAMILTON SHIFTS THE BORDERS

Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 Grand Prix victories used to seem to be forever. Lewis Hamilton has now caught up with the German and will continue to raise the record. With 69 points ahead of Valtteri Botta’s World Championship times six races before the end of the season, the seventh title – as with Schumacher – is only a matter of time. “Hopefully there are more records ahead of us that we can break,” said Hamilton. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said that records are there to be broken anyway, “Michael said that too. Lewis is still on his journey.” And this leads to records.

HÜLKENBERG DOES ITS OWN ADVERTISEMENT

Racing Point quickly needed a replacement for the sick Lance Stroll – and found him again in Nico Hülkenberg. Despite his last starting position, the Rhinelander raced furiously into the points as eighth. Does that bring him closer to a regular cockpit for 2021? “That’s difficult to answer at the moment,” said the 33-year-old, who had also replaced Stroll’s team-mate Sergio Perez this year. “But that was good advertising, a good business card.” In cockpit poker, “performance does not always play a role”, continued Hülkenberg and asked for “a little more patience”. A place at Haas is “rather unrealistic”, because of Alfa Romeo you have to see.

VETTEL is agonizing

Sebastian Vettel had won the last Eifel edition in 2013. With Ferrari, however, the Hessian could not hope for points this time. “I struggled too much with the tires,” complained Vettel after his eleventh place. Ferrari had updates for the Nürburgring in their luggage, but slight progress in qualifying could not be carried over to the Grand Prix. The updates would point in the right direction, said Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto. “We should also have some innovations for the next race in Portimao.” The Grand Prix in Portugal takes place in two weeks. It remains difficult for Vettel to get points.

RICCIARDO GETS UNDER THE SKIN

After two years, Daniel Ricciardo is leaving Renault at the end of the season and switching to McLaren. His first podium since his Monaco victory in 2018, which is now the first podium for the French since returning as the works team in 2016, will get under the skin of Cyril Abiteboul. One bet says that the Renault team boss will have to get a tattoo in the podium case. “We’re going to rack our brains,” Ricciardo announced, amused about the motive. The first tattoo is always fun, said the Australian, whose skin itself is richly decorated. Abiteboul wants to redeem his debt – but in a barely visible place.

THE NÜRBURGRING MEETS EXPECTATIONS

The Nürburgring did exactly what the Formula 1 bosses expected: to smoothly host a Grand Prix in the corona pandemic. And that even in front of 13,500 spectators. This was ensured by the organizer’s hygiene concept in the Eifel. But it was nothing more than proof that the traditional course can still be relied on seven years after he left the Formula 1 calendar. At that time the Nürburgring could no longer afford the multi-million dollar entry fee – nothing has changed that. The Formula 1 bosses want to collect lavish entry fees again in the future.

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