Ferrari uncertain of reasons behind car failures

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Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali is unsure of the reasons behind his drivers’ car failures which ended all hopes of victory in Bahrain today.

Fernando Alonso suffered a problem early on which saw his DRS system become jammed open. This forced him into pitting twice within two laps, dropping him right down the order, and Domenicali made no secret of his disappointment.

“We don’t know yet. There is a failure and it’s a disappointment because today we could have done a great race. Honestly the pace was there,” Domenicali told Sky Sports.

Ferrari’s day went from bad to worse as Felipe Massa suffered two punctures, and Domenicali was again unsure of what caused these failures.

“It was not the day for us because Felipe had contact at the beginning and then two problems with the tires that we need to understand. We need to understand because one came suddenly at the last corner and one came on the back straight.”

“So not a good day for us, let’s move ahead. Big shame, but that’s racing.”

Alonso did recover to finish 8th, but he was similarly disappointed after running P2 before the problem.

“It was very difficult. We stopped two times in two laps so you are at the back of the group and with no DRS to pass the race becomes very difficult,” the Spanish driver said.

“But it’s the way it went today. A very unlucky race again so in four races two very unlucky moments. It will come for the others and we will take the opportunity in that moment.”

The result sees Ferrari slip to third in the constructors’ championship, and Alonso is now 30 points behind Vettel in the race for the drivers’ title. However, Ferrari will be pleased with its pace this weekend, and Alonso is certainly not to be discounted from challenging for the championship.

Michael Schumacher’s son to make F1 practice debut at Nurburgring

F1 Mick Schumacher
Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
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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.