Raikkonen to judge back injury during practice

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Kimi Raikkonen has said that he will assess his back injury during Friday practice for the Korean Grand Prix after suffering from problems in Singapore last weekend.

The Finn has suffered from a back issue for a while, but it became particularly problematic last weekend at the Marina Bay Street Circuit on Saturday. Raikkonen failed to complete many laps in the final practice session, and he could only qualify thirteenth for the race. However, after racing to finish P3 on Sunday, the Finn said that the problem was not too bad during the race, but he is still going to be cautious heading into the race in Korea.

“It’s better than it was on Saturday in Singapore which is when it didn’t feel too good,” Raikkonen said when asked how his back was feeling. “The important thing was that I was able to race and we did a pretty good job with the podium finish.

“It’s not the first time I’ve had a problem, as there have been some issues with my back for a long time. For sure, we will have to see how it is when I get out on track on Friday in Korea.”

Raikkonen said that he was hoping to build upon his strong performance on race day in Singapore, with the result being his first top-ten finish since the Hungarian Grand Prix before the summer break.

“Let’s hope we are able to maintain the strong form from Sunday in Singapore,” he said. “The car felt good for the whole race and it was a nice feeling racing too. The main focus is to keep this positive feeling and benefit from it in the next races.”

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.