F1 news 2020, Michael Schumacher son, Mick, update, Haas, driven line up, Sakhir Grand Prix, Bahrain, latest


Michael Schumacher’s son, Mick, will race in Formula 1 next season after Haas announced him as part of their new-look driver line-up for 2021.

Schumacher, who is currently leading the F2 championship, has joined Haas on a multi-year deal to join Nikita Mazepin, whose own promotion was announced yesterday.

The 21-year-old is part of Ferrari’s young driver scheme and given Haas’ close ties with the F1 giant, the move had been mooted for a while.

Schumacher will drive the car first during Practice 1 at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix next weekend before participating in the post-season tests at the same circuit the following week.

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Who replaces Lewis, George Russell, Stoffel Vandoorne, Nico Hulkenberg, Sakhir Grand Prix


Mercedes have enjoyed an incredibly successful 2020 season with Lewis Hamilton wrapping up the drivers’ championships and the team securing the constructors title.

In the final weeks of the season however a spanner has been thrown into the works after Hamilton tested positive for COVID-19.

The bombshell news broke on Tuesday evening after Hamilton woke up feeling under the weather following the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Hamilton’s positive test will now see him miss the Sakhir Grand Prix and now raises the biggest question of all: Who will drive his Mercedes this weekend?

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Mercedes’ designated reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne was in Valencia doing a Formula E test, with the Belgian set to fly to Bahrain shortly after.

The announcement of just who will step in for the now isolating Hamilton won’t be announced by Mercedes until Thursday, just under 48 hours away from the first practice session of the weekend.

Vandoorne was the first name floated as Hamilton’s replacement with the former McLaren driver the easiest inclusion.

“I don’t know what is going to happen [but] I know there is a chance for me to drive,” Vandoorne, 28, said.

“But let’s wait and see. I’m travelling tomorrow and I’ll find out. I got a first message this morning around seven.

“The team told me that Lewis tested positive and they were going to announce an hour later. But afterwards it’s just been kind of waiting.”

Shortly after the Hamilton news came to light however, a wave of support from Formula 1 fans began to swell for Williams driver George Russell.

Russell, 22, has yet to land a point in Formula 1 with the British youngster finishing a painstaking 11th during the Tuscany Grand Prix.

The Williams driver is a part of the Mercedes young driver program and fans want more than anything to see him secure his first points.

A report from Autosport indicates Russell has emerged as the frontrunner to be behind the wheel of the Mercedes despite his contract with Williams.

“Mercedes having a good relationship with the Williams team, it is possible that a separate deal could be arranged to loan him out. Sources suggest that discussions about a potential deal are ongoing,” the story says.

If Russell were to shift to Mercedes for this weekend, the door would be open for Vandoorne to drive for Williams. However the team is likely to promote reserve driver Jack Aitken to make his Formula 1 debut.

Both Russell and Vandoorne have both had seat fittings with the Silver Arrows, a factor that is likely to rule out Nico Hulkenberg.

Hulkenberg stepped in to drive for Racing Point after Sergio Perez tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the season.

But the German star was quick to shut down the possibility of getting behind the wheel of the Mercedes with a not-so-subtle Instagram post.

Former Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button jokingly threw his hat into the ring after the Hamilton news by telling Mercedes he was available this weekend.

Button tweeted to the team with an emoji of a mobile phone and a man putting his hands up in a shrug.

He followed it up with: “I promise I won’t pee in Lewis Hamilton’s seat”. A throwback to a threat Button made to Fernando Alonso when he replaced him for the Monaco Grand Prix in 2017.

Mercedes got in on the joke with a hilarious reply, showing an image of a iPhone and several missed calls from Button with the caption: “Toto’s phone right now”.

Former Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg weighed in on just who should replace Hamilton with the 2016 world champion throwing his support behind Russell.

“Petition for Mercedes to race @GeorgeRussell63 this weekend! Would be great! Most importantly though: All the best @LewisHamilton for a fast health recovery,” he wrote.

We’ll know soon enough just who will get to drive the fastest car on the grid this weekend around the Bahrain circuit for the Sakhir Grand Prix.



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Romain Grosjean ‘saw death coming’ in Bahrain Grand Prix F1 crash, wants to race again this season


Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean expects he will need psychological help to deal with the traumatic memories of his fiery crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix, but still wants to be racing again within days.

The French driver’s car exploded into a fireball and split in half after crashing on the first lap and slicing through a metal barrier.

Grosjean escaped the Haas car’s flaming wreckage and was helped to safety by on-track marshals and race doctors.

“There’s going to be some psychological work to be done, because I really saw death coming. When you see images, not even Hollywood is capable of doing that,” Grosjean told French broadcaster TF1 from his hospital bed in Bahrain.

Grosjean was estimated to be inside the fire for nearly 30 seconds but was lucid enough to figure a way out of the near-death situation.

“I don’t know if the word miracle exists or it can be used, but it wasn’t my time. It did seem much longer than 28 seconds. I saw my visor turning all orange, the flames on the left side of the car,” he said.

Marshals rushed to extinguish the fire as Grosjean climbed out of the car and over the barrier.(AP: Brynn Lennon)

“I thought about a lot of things — notably about Niki Lauda — and I thought that it wasn’t possible to end up like that, not now. I couldn’t finish my story in Formula 1 like that.”

The late Lauda, a three-time F1 champion, survived but sustained horrific burns to his head after being caught inside his flaming car at the 1976 German GP at the Nürburgring.

Grosjean escaped with only minor burns to the back of his hands and even feels optimistic enough about competing in the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP on December 13.

His contract expires at the end of this season, and it remains uncertain if he will be given a seat in F1 next year, so that could be his last race in the sport.

“I’m very well, given the accident and the circumstances. My hand movements are fine, so that’s the main thing. It’s not very pleasant but it’s not painful, so I can’t complain,” Grosjean said.

“There is a feeling of being happy to be alive, of seeing things differently. But also there is the need to get back in the car, if possible in Abu Dhabi.”

Romain Grosjean smiles while holding up his hands, which are both covered in bandages
The worst physical damage Grosjean sustained was burns to the back of his hands.(Twitter: Haas F1 Team)

The 34-year-old Grosjean has three children — the eldest only seven years old — and he revealed that the fear of them losing their father drove him through the flames.

“My five-year-old son, Simon, is sure I have magical powers and that I have a shield of magic love. He said that’s what protected me, that I managed to fly out of the car. Those are very strong words.”

Grosjean was also moved by the widespread support within F1 and beyond.

“An enormous amount of people showed me signs of affection and that’s something which touched me greatly,” Grosjean said. “Sometimes I have tears in my eyes.”

AP



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Lewis Hamilton tests positive for coronavirus, will miss Sakhir Grand Prix


Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the upcoming Sakhir Grand Prix, the sport’s governing FIA says.

Hamilton, who has already secured a record-equalling seventh world title and won Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix, was experiencing mild symptoms but was otherwise fit and well, his Mercedes team said.

“Lewis was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last of which was on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit as part of the standard race weekend testing program,” the Formula 1 champions said in a statement.

“However he woke up on Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that a contact prior to arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive.

“Lewis therefore took a further test and returned a positive result. This has since been confirmed by a retest.”

The 35-year-old Briton was isolating according to local health guidelines, the team said, with a replacement driver to be announced in due course.

Reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne was already scheduled to travel to Bahrain after Formula E testing in Valencia.

Hamilton is the third F1 driver to test positive for COVID-19 this season, following Sergio Perez at Silverstone and Lance Stroll in Germany.

Formula One organisers said Hamilton would needed a negative test before being allowed to return to the F1 paddock, therefore remaining a doubtful starter for the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton has already won the world title, the seventh of his career.(AP: Joe Klamar)

Hamilton appeared to be drained at the end of the Bahrain GP, which was marred by a crash that left Romain Grosjean with minor burns to his hands and ankles after his Haas car crashed and burst into flames moments after the start.

“It’s physical, this track has always been physical,” Hamilton said following Sunday’s race.

“We’ve got lots of high-speed corners so I was definitely feeling it.

“I was sliding around a lot out there and I wasn’t really quite sure how it would play out at the end.”

Hamilton clinched the drivers’ championship last month in Turkey.

He has a big lead in the standings with 332 points, well ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas on 201 points and Max Verstappen on 189.

Reuters/AP



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Romain Grosjean’s Bahrain Grand Prix crash described by Formula 1 doctors who helped save him


The Formula 1 medical car team who helped Romain Grosjean make a “miracle” escape from his fiery Bahrain Grand Prix crash have played down their heroics and said they would learn from it to do better if such a horrific accident happened again.

Ian Roberts, a doctor for motorsport governing body FIA, rushed towards the blaze in an open-face helmet to help Grosjean clamber out of the inferno, but said the Frenchman had already done “a fantastic job of extricating himself”.

Grosjean climbed out of the car before the medics could get to him but was helped over the guardrail and away to safety.

Roberts and medical car driver Alan van der Merwe were hailed as heroes after the accident but they said they were just doing their jobs.

“I’m no hero. Lots of people do seriously and proper heroic things. I did what was necessary, so no I don’t consider myself a hero,” the doctor said.

Race doctors said Grosjean did most of the work getting out of the car himself.(Twitter: @F1)

“But I’m very pleased for people’s kind words.”

Van der Merwe said there had already been discussions about changes that could be made for next weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix at the same circuit.

“Ian and I will do very small things which we think would have bought us some more time or some more margin. We’ve discussed that over breakfast this morning,” he said.

“Now we know what we need to do and what we need to improve on.”

‘I could see him behind a sheet of flame’

Roberts said the scene of the crash had looked like something out of a Hollywood movie when they arrived seconds after Grosjean’s Haas car had speared through the metal barriers, splitting in two and erupting in flames.

Volunteers try to put out a big fire that is consuming a Formula One car at the side of a track.
Blasts from the fire extinguisher gifted Grosjean precious seconds of respite from the fire.(AP/Pool: Brynn Lennon)

“I could see Romain in his car attempting to get out, the fire was well going and I could see him behind essentially a sheet of flame, almost furnace-like,” he said.

A marshal had run across the track with an extinguisher and that was aimed at Grosjean to push the flames back for precious seconds.

As Grosjean appeared at the top of the barrier, Roberts could reach in and grab hold of him.

“I pulled him across over to our car but he couldn’t actually see anything, the tear-offs [strips across the helmet visor] had melted and his visor appeared to be pretty opaque.”

Romain Grosjean smiles while holding up his hands, which are both covered in bangages
Grosjean suffered burns to his hands but escaped remarkably unscathed.(Twitter: Haas F1 Team)

Grosjean, whose last recorded speed before hitting the barrier was 221kph, had burns to the back of his hands but was otherwise unscathed. He is expected to remain in hospital until Tuesday and will not race next weekend.

Van der Merwe said being called a hero was “slightly embarrassing”.

“I think we performed well. I think we can perform better next time,” he said.

“It’s a really positive story, it’s really good for Formula 1. It validates that we’re doing the right thing and that I think we should keep doing what we’re doing, which is to try and improve things.”

The guardrail shouldn’t fail and the car shouldn’t catch fire: Vettel

Grosjean’s fellow drivers are asking questions about how it was allowed to happen at all.

The sport has boosted safety standards massively over the decades, with Grosjean praising his car’s halo head protection device for saving his life, but four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel wants to know how the frightening scene occurred.

A close-up of Romain Grosjean's Formula One car, including the protective halo around his head.
Modern F1 cars are full of safety features that have made scenes like Grosjean’s crash a rarity.(AP/Pool: Giuseppe Cacace)

“The guardrail is not supposed to fail like that,” the Ferrari star, who like Grosjean is a director of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, told Sky Sports.

“It’s good that the cars are safer than they used to be in the past, but the guardrail shouldn’t fail and the car shouldn’t catch fire in that fashion.

The governing FIA said it would launch a complete investigation into the accident, which could take “weeks, if not months”.

It will include a look at why the barrier split and the car caught fire.

“That process will continue,” FIA race director Michael Masi said.

“You learn each and every time, something small, something large. But the process of learning is ongoing.”

Reuters



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Romain Grosjean crash news, halo system, Instagram video, Bahrain Grand Prix


Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean has spoken from hospital to declare the controversial “halo” saved his life during his 220km/h fireball explosion at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The French driver admitted on Monday he was never a supporter of the part when it was introduced three years ago.

He is now.

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Grosjean’s Haas team confirmed the 34-year-old is in a stable condition at the Bahrain Defence Force Hospital where he is being kept overnight for further treatment on the burns to his hands and ankles.

Grosjean was also reported to have suffered an injury to his ribs, but X-rays showed he escaped the flaming wreck without any fractured bones.

It is a genuine miracle that he walked away with non life-threatening injuries when his car was incinerated and split in half as it thundered into the railing at Turn Three on the opening lap of the race.

Miraculously, Grosjean climbed out of the Haas car through flames and was dragged away by marshals before being taken in a helicopter to hospital.

His survival cell was seen wedged into the railing once the fire was put out and the debris that was left from his smoking wreck of a car was cleared.

The “halo” safety device — the protective arch that sits above the drivers’ cockpit — was the difference between Grosjean living or dying.

“I wasn’t for the halo some years ago, but I think it’s the greatest thing that we’ve brought to Formula 1, and without it I wouldn’t be able to speak with you today,” Grosjean said with a smile as he spoke to fans for the first time while sitting up in his hospital bed.

The controversial part originally divided the Formula 1 grid with many commentators declaring the protective lid went against the traditions of the open cockpit racing series.

RELATED: Ricciardo’s fury over ‘disgusting’ crash reaction

It was announced in 2017 that the part would be rushed in for the start of the 2018 Formula 1 series in a bid to improve driver safety.

The device was proposed and created in the aftermath of the death of Jules Bianchi who died in 2015 from head injuries sustained in a crash at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.

Each halo device is reported to cost teams up to $45,000, while teams spent more than $1 million testing the device when it was first introduced, prompting most teams to re-design their chassis to accommodate the safety structure.

While there were also worrying safety failures at the Bahrain track, the Formula 1 grid was united in its praise for the “halo”.

Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn said: “The halo saved the day and it saved Romain.

“There was controversy in developing it initially, but there can’t be any doubt now so hats off to those who pushed for the introduction.”

On Monday morning (AEDT), the French driver’s mother Christine sent a brief and poignant message that summed up the value of the device.

“They introduced the halo after my son’s accident and now the halo has saved Romain’s life today,” she wrote, according to reports.

“This is great. I’m glad that he is ok.”

Formula 1’s official safety chief and medical car driver Alan van der Merwe, who was at the scene of the Grosjean crash just seconds after it occurred, said the incident could have been catastrophic if not for the halo.

“It was a big surprise for us as well, we’ve never seen that much fire in 12 years,” he said

“Romain started to get out of the car himself which was pretty amazing after an accident like that. It was a relief to see he was okay. It just goes to show all the systems we’ve developed worked hand in hand — the halos, the barriers, the seatbelts, everything all worked as it should.

“Without just one of those things, it could have been a very different outcome.”

Champion Lewis Hamilton also praised the sport for getting it right in its series of recent safety upgrades.

“I’m so grateful Romain is safe,” Hamilton wrote on Twitter.

“Wow… the risk we take is no joke, for those of you out there that forget that we put our life on the line for this sport and for what we love to do.

“Thankful to the FIA for the massive strides we’ve taken for Romain to walk away from that safely.”

Grosjean is expected to be released from hospital in coming days.

— with AFP



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Daniel Ricciardo disgust, Bahrain Grand Prix, Haas news


Aussie Daniel Ricciardo is seething about the “cold-blooded” response from TV broadcasters around the world to Romain Grosjean’s horror crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

After colliding with the barriers in a high speed explosion, Grosjean’s car split in half and was engulfed in a fireball.

Miraculously, he climbed out of the Haas car through the flames and was dragged away by marshals before being taken in a helicopter to a hospital with suspected rib injuries and burns.

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The car was sliced in half when it slammed into the Turn 3 barrier at more than 220km/h.

His survival cell was seen wedged into the railing once the fire was put out and the debris that was left from his smoking wreck of a car was cleared.

Grosjean issued a video on Instagram to let his fans know he was doing well as he continued to be treated in hospital.

His video from the Bahrain Defence Force Hospital showed the French driver smiling at the camera.

Ricciardo, however, was fuming when asked about the incident at the end of the race.

The 31-year-old said it was “disgusting” that the live TV broadcast continued to show a loop of replays of the scary incident during the hour-long break before the re-start of the race.

The replays were already being repeated on the live broadcast and on screens around the Bahrain International Circuit before it was confirmed that Grosjean was in a stable condition.

“I want to express my disgust and disappointment with Formula 1,” Ricciardo told Dutch broadcaster Ziggo.

RELATED: ‘It’s a miracle’: Fireball crash in Bahrain Grand Prix

“The way the incident of Grosjean was broadcast over and over, the replays over and over, it was completely disrespectful and inconsiderate for his family, for all of our families watching.

“We’re going to go race again in an hour and every time we look on the TV it’s a ball of fire and his car’s cut in half.

“I mean we can see that tomorrow, we don’t need to see it today.

“For me, it was entertainment and they’re playing with all of our emotions and I thought it was pretty disgusting.

“So hopefully some other drivers have spoke up. But if that’s not how we all really feel then I’d be very surprised.”

According to Autosport, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said after the race the sport is still wrestling with the dilemma of being transparent with fans in troubling moments.

“Those images were frightening and graphic, but if you’re not transparent as an organisation, you’re just taking the risk that somebody else shows stuff that is beyond your control,” he said.

Haas issued an update before the race re-start confirming Grosjean was being treated for burns to his legs and hands.

The team also corrected earlier reports that Grosjean had also suffered broken ribs when it released its medical update.

The Haas statement said X-rays taken at the hospital showed no signs of any fractured bones.

The team announced Grosjean would remain in hospital overnight to continue his treatment for the burns on the back of his hands.

His Haas team boss Guenther Steiner said: “When you see something like this the only thing you think is ‘I hope we get lucky’ — you don’t think how it happened or whatever.

“I would like to thank all the marshals. They did a fantastic job to get him away as quick as possible from the fire. It was amazing what they did.”

Ricciardo also endured a nightmare race, but none of that seemed to matter after Grosjean’s crash.

Ricciardo had climbed up to fifth, but he got caught behind a slowing Valtteri Bottas at the re-start and fell back to P10.

The Renault driver recovered to finish seventh., while Lewis Hamilton won the race — his 95th Grand Prix victory — ahead of Max Verstappen and his Red Bull teammate Alex Albon.



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Formula 1 2020 News, Bahrain Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Human rights issue


Lewis Hamilton returned to work as a seven-time champion on Thursday and immediately urged Formula One to take real action on human rights issues in “some of the places that we go to”.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, an event that was cancelled in 2011 following the suppression of pro-democracy protests during the Arab Spring uprisings, Hamilton said he wanted to see change.

“The human rights issue in some of the places that we go to is a consistent and a massive problem and I think it’s very, very important,” he said.

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Knighthood would be an honour

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Romain Grosjean walks away from fiery F1 crash in Bahrain in opening lap, bringing halt to grand prix


Haas F1 driver Romain Grosjean has incredibly walked away from a fiery crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix with just minor burns to his hands and ankles.

In the opening lap of the race, with Canadian driver Lance Stroll in front of him crashing out into gravel, Grosjean veered right in the congestion, clipping a Daniil Kvyat’s front wheel before veering sharply into the barrier in an explosion of flame and fuel.

The force and angle at which Grosjean hit the metal barrier cut his car in half, sending the back half of the car flying off while the front half, with Grosjean inside, got wedged in the barrier.

The driver was in the burning cockpit for several seconds before finally getting free. Grosjean was escorted to an ambulance and appeared to be limping. He was taken to hospital with suspected broken ribs.

Flames seen from the crash scene after Haas’ Romain Grosjean crashed out at the start of the race.(Reuters: Kamran Jebreili)

“[Grosjean] is doing OK,” Haas team principal Guenther Steiner told Sky Sports.

“He’s seems to be OK and the rescue was very quick. The marshals and FIA did a great job. It was very scary.

“We were lucky by being unlucky. He got away with it, I think.

“It looked like he went across the track with the front wheel and went full speed in the barrier. But I’ve only seen what you guys have seen.”

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The crash prompted a long red-flag delay to the race as crews worked frantically to clear the mess of debris and repair the barrier.

An FIA spokesman said the impact of Grosjean’s crash was measured at 53G.

With drivers sitting in the garage contemplating Grosjean’s near miss, reigning champion Lewis Hamilton said on Twitter it was a reminder that drivers put their lives on the line every time they go out on the F1 track.

“I’m so grateful Romain is safe. Wow … the risk we take is no joke, for those of you out there that forget that we put our life on the line for this sport and for what we love to do,” he said.

“Thankful to the FIA for the massive strides we’ve taken for Romain to walk away from that safely.”

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F1 2020: Bahrain Grand Prix, live, start time, stream, how to watch, full starting grid, news, blog, qualifying result


Formula One, Bahrain Grand Prix: 1.10am AEDT, LIVE —

F1’s twenty drivers will do battle on one of the most brutal tracks on the Formula 1 calendar early on Monday morning (AEDT) at the Bahrain GP.

Daniel Ricciardo knows all too well just how painful the Sakhir Circuit can be, having retired just four laps from the finish in 2019 just metres away from then-Renault teammate Nico Hulkenberg. In 2018, Ricciardo was part of another double-DNF, then racing with Red Bull.

This year, Ricciardo will begin his hunt for redemption from sixth on the grid after an impressive qualifying saw him pip teammate Esteban Ocon by just 0.002 seconds.



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