Schumacher laps the Nurburgring in a Mercedes F1 car (VIDEO)

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Michael Schumacher said thank you to thousands of his fans with a demonstration lap in a Mercedes Formula One car at the Nurburgring Nordschleife.

Schumacher toured the track on Sunday ahead of its annual 24-hour race. The 15.769-mile circuit, one of the longest ever used for a Formula One race, held Germany’s round of the world championship between 1951 and 1976.

The seven-time world champion retired from Formula One at the end of last season. He had returned to racing with Mercedes in 2010.

Schumacher took to the track with former F1 team mate Nico Rosberg.

He was joined by Karl Wendlinger, who was Schumacher’s team mate when they drove for Mercedes’ sports car team in 1990 and 1991. The pair won their final race together at Autopolis in Japan 22 years ago, after which they raced against each other in Formula One.

Mercedes drivers Bernd Schneider and Bernd Maylander were also part of the demonstration run. But the highlight of the show was Schumacher, whose run in a 2011-spec Mercedes W02 was a rare appearance for a modern Formula One machine on the classic Nordschleife.

Formula One will visit the Nurburgring for this year’s German Grand Prix. But that race will be held on the shorter track which opened in 1984, on which Schumacher scored five of his 91 Grand Prix victories.

SMP Racing unveils BR1 LMP1 car in Bahrain ahead of WEC entry

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SMP Racing has publicly unveiled its new BR1 LMP1 car that will enter the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2018.

SMP Racing opted to pull out of racing full-time in the WEC for 2017 in order to focus on its preparations for an LMP1 entry the following year, with the decision being taken long in advance of Porsche’s exit announcement.

Officials from the Russian-backed SMP Racing, as well as drivers including recent IndyCar racer Mikhail Aleshin (sporting a broken arm in a sling), Vitaly Petrov and Sergey Sirotkin were all on hand to unveil the car on Friday in the Bahrain International Circuit paddock ahead of this weekend’s WEC finale.

The BR Engineering BR1 features a Dallara chassis and an AER engine, and has completed over 2,000 km in private testing, with further running set to be completed in the coming weeks.

SMP Racing plans to field two cars in the WEC’s LMP1 class next year, and is keen to get as many Russian drivers as possible in the seats from its wide pool of talent.

Even with Porsche’s departure from LMP1, the class is set to feature a bigger field thanks to the increased number of privateers moving up, with Toyota set to remain the sole manufacturer in the class.