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F1’s new-look run of races with all-time records set to fall

Formula 1 is back at the Nurburgring after a seven-year absence this week with the Eifel GP the first of four consecutive races at returning or new circuits for the sport.

The 2020 season now enters a six-week period featuring four races that were not on the original calendar before the coronavirus pandemic dramatically reshaped the schedule.

The next four F1 races
October 9-11: Eifel GP, Nurburgring
October 23-25: Portuguese GP, Algarve International Circuit
October 31-November 1: Emilia-Romagna GP, Imola
November 13-15: Turkish GP, Istanbul Park

The famous Nurburgring in German’s Eifel region, located 41 miles south of Cologne, is a legendary F1 venue and has staged 40 Grands Prix across every decade of the world championship’s history.

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The first 22 events took place around the infamous 14.2-mile Nordschleife – dubbed ‘The Green Hell’ by Sir Jackie Stewart – before the significantly shorter Grand Prix track was created for a return in 1984.

But the venue last staged a grand prix in 2013, which was won by Sebastian Vettel for Red Bull, after dropping out on financial grounds of its race-share agreement with Hockenheim for the German GP.

The Eifel GP will be the fourth different name the Nurburgring race has run under but the track has only run Grands Prix as late in the year as October twice before, in 1984 and 1995. Cold temperatures and rain are forecast for the race weekend, which begins on Friday.

German F1 legend Michael Schumacher won a record five times at the venue and has a section of corners named after him.

Seven of the current 20-driver grid were in the field the last time F1 raced there, with Lewis Hamilton (2011) and Vettel the only former Nurburgring winners.

Sunday’s race starts at 1.10pm live on Sky Sports F1, with build-up from 11.30am. Qualifying is at 2pm on Saturday.

Sky F1’s live Eifel GP schedule

Two famous F1 records to fall in Germany?

At the track synonymous with Schumacher, and at the track the seven-time champion’s son, Mick, will make his Friday practice debut, Hamilton has his second chance to equal the F1 great’s all-time wins record on Sunday.

A first attempt at the Russian GP a fortnight ago was scuppered by a 10-second in-race time penalty for incorrect practice starts, leaving Hamilton third behind Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen.

Schumacher has 91 wins to Hamilton’s 90.

“It is incredible,” said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff in an interview with Sky F1 at the Russian GP about Hamilton’s impending achievement.

“We don’t think about it a lot and I think also Lewis pushes it aside a little bit because he would have never dreamt of achieving 91 wins, he would have never dreamt of having a similar career like Michael.

“Certainly for a driver it must be very emotional if you achieve that. I think this is why it doesn’t have a lot of space in his head at the moment. But if he can do it, it’s going to be overwhelming to be on the same level as the greatest driver of all-time.”

Next week… 😍

Who's excited for the return of The Ring?#SkyF1 | #F1 | #EifelGP 🇩🇪 pic.twitter.com/6IxSAaLIdJ

Meanwhile, in a record almost certain to be broken this weekend, Kimi Raikkonen will become the most experienced F1 driver of all time when he starts his 322 grands prix – one more Rubens Barrichello.

Barrichello, the former Ferrari and Brawn driver, competed in his 321st and final race in 2011 with Williams and has held F1’s longevity record since the 2008 Turkish GP, when he surpassed Riccardo Patrese’s long-standing mark of 256 starts.

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