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Christian Fittipaldi to retire after 2019 Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona

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ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (AP) — Christian Fittipaldi plans to retire from driving after the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the January race he was won three times.

The 47-year-old Brazilian racer announced the decision Saturday at Road America.

“My relationship with my family, my daughter, my age, so it’s the package. It’s not one thing,” Fittipaldi said. “It’s not that I went out there, I had a huge accident and said, `Whoa, now I’m afraid of doing this. I can’t do this anymore.’ It wasn’t that. It was the package and I think the timing is correct. I’m going to respect the timing a lot.”

Fittipaldi, the nephew of two-time Formula One champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi, is a two-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype champion, a four-time champion of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup and a winner of 12 IMSA races. He also won two Champ Car races and competed in Formula One and NASCAR.

He’ll get the chance to add two more victories before hanging up his helmet, at Motul Petit Le Mans on Oct. 13, and the 57th Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 26-27.

“I owe a lot to Daytona,” Fittipaldi said. “I owe a lot to the France family and Daytona has brought me a lot of happiness. I have had a lot of success there. We won three times. I think I have six or seven podiums in total.”

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.