The second Formula 1 practice session for the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix has been cancelled due to poor weather conditions at the Nurburgring.
After the event’s opening practice session was called off on Friday morning, with the track’s medical helicopter unable to fly safely to its destination hospital if there was an emergency, conditions did not improve during the two-and-a-half hour gap between FP1 and FP2.
As rain fell steadily and temperatures remained rooted to 10 degrees air and 13 degrees track, the FIA communicated a repeat message that the medical helicopter was still restricted 15 minutes before FP2 was set to start at 1500 local time. The helicopter restrictions means no track action can take place in such circumstances, as the nearest hospital is over 20 minutes away – the FIA’s maximum allowance by road.
FP2’s 90-minute time remaining countdown started as scheduled at 15:00, with the FIA immediately announcing the next update would be given at 15:30. When that point was reached, race control stated another update would be provided at 16:00 and at that stage the session was cancelled.
Speaking during FP1, FIA race director Michael Masi said: “With the fog that’s come in, the medical helicopter is not able to take off and fly to the hospital. The distance by road is too far, should something occur.
“With the region that we’re in, it’s probably not dissimilar to Austria earlier in the year when we had a similar situation. It’s just the nature of the area and the location.
“The fog’s come in, and it’s all been going up slightly but coming down more dramatically, so we’ll just judge at the time [if it is safe to start].
“From an FIA perspective, the safety of all the participants and the drivers hopefully going out is paramount, and that’s not something we will compromise.”
After FP2 was cancelled, the teams will be left with just a single scheduled practice session the one hour of running in FP3 before qualifying.
Next month’s Emilia-Romagna GP at Imola will have a single 90-minute practice session before qualifying at the Italian track as part of an experiment with a condescend schedule to be run over two days of track action.
The FIA has been contacted to clarify if the Eifel GP schedule can be altered given the lack of support events on the schedule compared to normal F1 races.
The Eifel GP features support category action from “Touring Car Legends”, which was set to have one practice session, qualifying and two races whereas F1 is generally supported at European events by F2, F3, and the Porsche Supercup series.