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Like any good team principal would be in a victorious situation, Ferrari’s Stefano Domenicali was happy with Fernando Alonso’s triumph at the Chinese Grand Prix. But with just seven days until the next race in Bahrain, he’s also keen to get started on preparations.
“We need to be very proud of today,” Domenicali told NBC Sports Network’s Will Buxton after the race in Shanghai. “Winning in China is very important. But we need to be focused already, after tonight, on the next week’s race in Bahrain.”
Post-race comments from Alonso, fresh off a sterling performance that saw him take the checkered flag by a whopping 10 seconds over Kimi Raikkonen, seemed to indicate that he felt the same way as his boss.
“I expect a tough race again,” the Spaniard said of the challenge ahead in the desert. “In Bahrain, I think we will see different conditions and who knows how competitive anyone can be. But definitely…From the races that we finished this year, the car seems to be able to be on the podium, so we hope to be on the podium again in Bahrain.”
But surely Alonso would make some time to party a little after such a resounding statement following his disaster ending in Malaysia last time out, right? Well…Not really.
“The celebration tonight? Nothing special,” he admitted. “I have a flight very early for Bahrain, so tonight, I think some dinner. I think the guys will celebrate more than me.”
MARANELLO, Italy — Mick Schumacher, son of the legednary seven-time champion, will have an official Formula One drive during an F1 race weekend for the first time next week at the Nurburgring, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari said Tuesday.
Schumacher gets the practice drive in an Alfa Romeo on Oct. 9 on his home track in Germany as a member of Ferrari’s young driver program, taking over Antonio Giovinazzi’s car for the first session of the weekend.
“I am overjoyed to get this chance in free practice,” Schumacher said in a statement. “I’m going to prepare myself well, so that I can do the best possible job for the team and gain some valuable data for the weekend.”
The 21-year-old Schumacher leads the Formula 2 standings after winning races in Monza and Sochi. He won the European Formula 3 championship in 2018 and tested a Ferrari F1 car in Bahrain in April 2019. He also has done demonstration runs in his father’s old cars, most recently this month ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix in a championship-winning 2004 Ferrari.
Michael Schumacher holds the F1 record with 91 victories, which Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of tying.
Ferrari said two other drivers in its academy program will also get practice drives in Formula One.
Callum Ilott, a British driver who is second to Mick Schumacher in F2, will drive an F1 Haas at the Nurburgring on the same day as Schumacher. Russian driver Robert Shwartzman will drive in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Dec. 11, though Ferrari hasn’t said for which team.
The German round was added to the F1 schedule after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season and will be officially known as the Eifel Grand Prix after a nearby mountain range. The Nurburgring last hosted F1 in 2013.