Formula 1

Fog Forces FIA to Cancel Second Nürburgring Practice, Announce Contingency Plan

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Credit: Steve Etherington

Much like in the morning session, free practice session two was lost to the weather at the Nürburgring, meaning all ten teams failed to turn a wheel all day long.

The fog surrounding the German track continued to prevent the medical helicopter from taking off, meaning the session was initially delayed for thirty minutes, delayed again and then cancelled altogether as conditions failed to improve.

Rain fell steadily throughout the ninety minute ‘session’, and temperatures barely reached double figures.  The air temperature was ten degrees Celsius with track temperatures hitting a mighty thirteen degrees!

Speaking during the first session, FIA race director Michael Masi spoke about the reasons behind the delays and cancellations at the Nürburgring.

“With the fog that’s come in, the medical helicopter is not able to take off and fly to the hospital,” Masi is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com.  “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.”

Plans have been revealed to prevent a replication on Saturday, with the FIA revealing to Motorsport.com that should the same conditions surround the track.  Any casualties will be transported by three kilometres before the journey will be completed by helicopter.

This plan would ensure the casualty can safely arrive at hospital within the twenty minutes mandated in the FIA’s International Sporting Code, with Appendix H stating:

“The flight time necessary to reach each of the hospitals mentioned in the medical questionnaire for the competition and approved by the FIA medical delegate must not, in normal conditions, exceed approximately 20 minutes.”

With no running taking place on Friday, the teams will now only have a single sixty-minute session on Saturday morning to prepare the car for Qualifying and Sunday’s Eifel Grand Prix. The weather is expected to improve on Saturday, but Sunday’s forecast is set to return to the same kind of conditions that hit the track on Friday.

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