Webber to receive grid penalty in Korea after catching lift


Mark Webber’s torrid weekend in Singapore will have repercussions at the Korean Grand Prix in two weeks’ time after the Australian driver received his third reprimand of the season, earning himself a ten place grid drop.

After starting fourth in Singapore, Webber looked capable of finishing on the podium at one point, only for a safety car period to put paid to his hopes. However, with eight laps remaining, a gearbox problem meant that he had to short-shift, losing positions to Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton before eventually retiring on the last lap with the back of his car spewing smoke.

After pulling over, Webber was given a lift back to the pits by Fernando Alonso, who picked the Australian driver up on his in-lap after the checkered flag.

According to the stewards: “The driver of car 2 [Webber] entered the track without the marshal’s permission between the commencement of the formation lap and the time when the last car enters parc fermรฉ.”

As a result, Webber has been reprimanded. In a new rule for 2013, a driver receives an automatic ten place grid penalty upon picking up three reprimands. Following incidents at the Bahrain and Canadian Grands Prix, this means that Webber is the first driver to be caught out by this regulation, and he will drop ten places from his qualifying position at the Korean Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.

Alonso was also reprimanded for his part in the incident, after he was deemed to have “drove the car in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers or any other person.”

Video footage shown to the media in Singapore shows that Webber ran out onto the track and flagged Alonso down, forcing Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to take evasive action, justifying the penalty.

Regulations aside, Alonso’s gesture did hark back to the iconic image of Nigel Mansell giving Ayrton Senna a lift at the end of the 1991 British Grand Prix.

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.