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Mercedes’ Wolff continues verbal barrage on new F1 qualifying

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Head of Mercedes-Benz motorsport, Toto Wolff, continued his diatribe against Formula One and its new qualifying system for this weekend’s race in Bahrain.

“This weekend we will see the new qualifying system continue after a less-than-impressive debut in Australia,” Wolff said in the team’s Bahrain advance release.

“The teams were unanimous in their opinion of it on Sunday in Melbourne and it wasn’t a positive opinion.

“We haven’t found the right format with this change and it’s hard to see how it might be more entertaining for the fans this weekend in Bahrain.”

MORE: Wolff calls new qualifying format pretty rubbish

Wolff continues to be one of the most outspoken critics about F1’s new system to set the pole and starting grid.

“The sport is under scrutiny on this matter, so careful thought is required in order to make coordinated, intelligent steps forward from the position we are in right now,” Wolff said. “The fans want close racing, in a format they can understand, between the best drivers and cars in the world – in that order.

“We should be capable of delivering that to the people in the grandstands and watching around the world.”

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

F1 Mick Schumacher
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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.