Michael Schumacher’s home town facing demolition due to mining

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In the round-up: Kerpen-Manheim, the home town of Michael Schumacher and Ralf Schumacher, is to be demolished.

In brief

Schumachers’ home town to be demolished

The expansion of the massive Hambach surface mine to the north-west of Kerpen-Manheim has led to the abandonment of the village where the Schumacher family once lived. The mine is a source of lignite, regarded as one of the most polluting forms of ‘brown coal’ used for power generation.

Kerpen-Manheim is already largely deserted
German media reports claim as few as a dozen people are left in the town. Excavations are due to begin next year.

Some notable local landmarks will be spared demolition. They include the Kerpen karting track once owned by Schumacher’s family, where in 2001 he raced against his fellow future seven-times champion and Mercedes F1 team predecessor Lewis Hamilton.

F1 announces new Paramount partnership

Paramount+, the catch-up streaming service owned by American media conglomerate Paramount Global, has signed a deal to become an official partner of the Formula 1 world championship.

F1 already has deals with broadcasters across the world, for live coverage and bespoke on-demand featured such as Netflix’s Drive to Survive series. Its multi-year promotional deal with Paramount is a follow-up to a deal between the company and F1 last year that centred around a “sports and entertainment collaboration.”

Now the focus will be on Paramount providing content that will be consumable from within the F1 paddock during race weekends. F1 claims that from now on it will have “Paramount+ hit series, blockbuster movies and beloved characters taking centre stage inside Fan Zone areas”.

Paramount sponsorship will also be visible at multiple tracks on the calendar, including on the pit lane side of the pit wall.

F2 stars untroubled by limited practice

While George Russell believes Formula 1 drivers have too much practice time compared to their Formula 2 and Formula 3 counterparts, the junior racers aren’t convinced.

Ayumu Iwasa, Dams, Albert Park, 2023
F2 drivers don’t feel they need more practice
“It’s not easy in F2 when you have only 45 minutes to learn a track,” said Sauber junior Theo Pourchaire during the most recent round in Melbourne, a new addition to the F2 calendar. “But that’s part of our job.

“We can see some qualities in some drivers. I’m sure there’s a big, big step between F1 and F2. They have a three free practices, we have only one of 45 minutes. But it’s like this, we need to adapt ourselves. It’s tough, but as I said we can see where are the good drivers. You need to adapt quickly to every condition, so it’s not easy. But it’s good.”

Ayumu Iwasa, who starred in Melbourne by taking pole position and winning the feature race, largely agreed with Pourchaire. “I think it’s really good format at the moment,” said the Red Bull junior driver. “That’s what I’m feeling. Having quite small free practice is I think it’s showing quite a lot of differences between the drivers.”

Another driver who likes F2’s current format is Alpine junior and rookie Victor Martins. “I like it, because I like to push straight away,” he said. “I’m quite good on the first laps, when you have no experience, you don’t know the track and you need to go right on the limit straight away. I think it shows the talent of the drivers, so I wouldn’t change anything.

“The young categories are there to detect the best drivers in the world. So I think if we want to be in F1, we need to show that kind of potential and that talent. So I think it’s good.”

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Comment of the day

The messy end to the Australian Grand Prix is still under discussion, almost two weeks on from the race weekend, due to Ferrari’s intention to get Carlos Sainz Jnr’s penalty – which he picked up from a clash on the final restart – overturned.

I’ve expressed my opinion on this incident before but I’ll do so again here. I don’t think this should be a penalty as Sainz is being penalised for causing a collision with Alonso. That’s fine, but we normally penalise if there is an impact to the driver who is taken out. Given Alonso didn’t lose a position, I think a five second penalty is harsh. What makes no sense to me is how Alonso can be simultaneously considered 11th and 3rd at the start of lap 58. If lap 57 is void the penalty should be void to my mind. It’s not like Sainz is the only driver in difficulty here – Max was wide in turn one, Sainz, Gasly, Perez and Sargeant were way too deep. Hulkenberg, Stroll and Norris were wide in turn three.

Whilst that doesn’t relieve Sainz of his responsibility, we need to factor in the context that the restart was a shambles and that’s on the race officials themselves. We should never have had a red flag and a restart there – it was always going to end in tears. To add inconsistent application of the rules post that was the cherry on a fairly terrible cake.

My honest feeling is that the stewards penalised him thinking they would use the red flag order not the lap 57 grid order for the restart – in that case it would be fair, but doubling down on poor officiating is not doing anyone any favours.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Kester!

On this day in motorsport

  • 20 years ago today Paul Tracy won the ChampCar Grand Prix of Long Beach

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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18 comments on “Michael Schumacher’s home town facing demolition due to mining”

  1. Wouldn’t be happening if Germany hadn’t made the terrible decisions to shut down nuclear power plants (our best hope for lowering emissions while retaining a stable grid) and putting all their eggs in Putin’s basket.

    1. This is nothing but populistic BS.

      1. Broccoliface
        13th April 2023, 8:13

        Nah he’s right and you’re just seething

      2. @Nuendo Germany has closed down perfectly functioning nuclear powerplants, and will close another 3 this year. And that purely based on ideological fear.

        Former German Chancellor Schröder is the one that made Germany reliant on Russian gas by pushing through the Nord Stream pipeline. As a reward a few days after the end of his Chancellorship he became director of the Russian Nord Stream company, with a million euro a year salary.
        Schröder has also been saying in 2004 that Putin was a “flawless democrat”.

      3. What does nuclear energy and populism have to do with one another?

        1. Nick T., it’s that populist figures like to present a simplistic analysis when in practice there are more complex factors at play.

          Germany’s existing nuclear facilities are ageing (most being built in the 1970s and 1980s) and would have required fairly heavy investment to extend their operating lifespans, with a lack of long term storage facilities to handle radioactive waste and increasing difficulties with maintaining those facilities in the long term due to Siemens exiting the nuclear sector more than a decade ago (Siemens being the sole designer and supplier for all of Germany’s nuclear power plants) are just some issues.

          Added to that, quite a lot of new nuclear build projects have run into frequent issues with cost and programme overruns that have badly dented the reputation of that sector. Flamanville-3 in France is currently 12 years behind schedule, has been plagued with technical and quality issues and is currently project to be more than 500% over budget, whilst the Olkiluoto power plant in Finland is around 400% over budget and 14 years behind schedule.

          Two of Germany’s largest energy companies – E.On and RWE – have also had some adverse experiences with attempted nuclear power projects in other markets. Both were part of a planned project in Wylfa in the UK, but they constantly struggled to raise the funding needed to complete that project and eventually sold the rights off to Hitachi (which eventually abandoned the project after they too couldn’t raise the funding needed for that project).

          That last story shows that, in many instances, the biggest problem is monetary – not many companies are prepared to stomach the capital costs associated with nuclear, nor the comparatively long build times required to get a nuclear power plant built.

          Even if they might be prepared to take on that risk, quite a lot of recent schemes have failed because the problems with projects like Flamanville-3 and Olkiluoto have given the nuclear sector a reputation for major programme overruns and major cost overruns, in some cases raising the question of whether those projects will ever turn a profit. There are many countries where there is a lot of political will in favour of new nuclear, but no hope of a project when lenders aren’t prepared to offer the cash needed to get the projects off the ground.

    2. The Germans’ choice to shut down the nuclear plants was a democratic one. It’s what they want, so that’s fair enough. And if that means carving up their own landscape to make room for more polluting lignite mining… well, it’s not the biggest mistake the Germans have ever made.

  2. Paramount has already been visible on some circuits in digital & virtual forms, so physical moving on, & the pit wall side is presumably the very bottom where other logos have also appeared occasionally.

    The dismantling process isn’t really any different from other full-temporary circuits, with the processes taking about 3-4 weeks, depending on specific location.

    COTD couldn’t be more spot-on.

    1. The pit lane appearance already happened in Melbourne.

      1. Bigging-up COTD – again

        As for Paramount+


  3. For those who live in the GCC, I went to the Gulf Historic at Dubai Autodrome last year and it was great. There was a great line up of cars and drivers (Andre Lotterer, Marco Werner, Theirry Boutsen among others all raced and the likes of Mark Webber and Alain Prost were in the paddock) and you can get unbelievably close to the cars. I’d 100% recommend it and am definitely going again this year.

    I did a blog over at F1 Fan Voice summarising the day if anyone is interested…

    1. Nice. Always nice to get close to the cars and see the craftsmanship. I race in VARA and our paddock is filled with multi-million dollar historic race cars (I have a comparatively lowly ‘71 BMW 2002 with no heritage) ranging from the the 1910s to 2000 with famous cars from LM winning Porsches to Mansell’s old Champ Car. So, another racing series people should check out if people want to see and touch great race cars. Sadly, rarely ever any other famous drivers.

  4. Yeah, agree with COTD. I was in the RaceFans live chat at the time. And it seemed we were all a bit bemused by what was going on. Standing starts and penalties. Nobody suggests Carlos wasn’t at fault. But how it was applied was somewhat random.

    There will always be debate about penalties, the PL just had to apologise to Brighton for not giving them one even with VAR. Referees miss things or misinterpret them, they’re human, it’s unfortunate but it happens.

    But the race director seems, rather than being a referee, has somehow become an active player in a race. To the point that a race strategist couldn’t even factor it into any formula to predict what judgement will be passed next. If the Logan / Nyck incident was between Max & Lewis fighting for the lead, there would be investigations and penalties galore. But it was between two guys fighting for 13th, so it was never even glanced at.

    There will always be gaps in the rulebook where someone will just have to make a decision because the rules don’t accommodate such an unusual scenario. But Melbourne didn’t feel like that, it felt like someone was pulling strings somewhere.

    1. Yeah totally agree @bernasaurus. Having thought about it a bit more I’m wondering if the reason for the penalty is that Carlos would have been on the podium if they used the red flag order and given the farce at Jeddah they wanted to have a definite ‘Carlos is not on the podium’ message. I wonder if someone realised that Aston had a huge benefit for their sponsors with the pictures and most casual fans who switch off after the podium, and thought that the podium order must be sacrosanct as Jeddah seemed a bit chaotic and cruel to be moving the trophy around. If that’s the case then they’ve learned the wrong lessons but if they make kneejerk responses we’re not happy and if they wait hours or in that case days later, we’re not happy.

    2. I simply disagree with Gasly and Sargeant not getting penalized. Sainz wss fully deserving of a penalty. Him and Gasly hilariously out braking themselves led to all of the chaos and he got off with the lightest penalty possible. Yes, it was bad luck that it impacted him so badly, but drivers have had much, much worse luck especially considering this loss of points won’t cost him any shot at a title.

      1. I’m still not sure we want a sport to be as officious as possible. I think we went that way in the late 00s and early 2010s to the detriment of sporting integrity. Penalties, to me, should be compensation. Accidents happen and if other driver didn’t lose out, I’m happy to say let them race. This Sainz incident is punishing him for locking up when half the grid did the same in the conditions. The sport need to learn lessons about how to deal with it going forward but I’m not convinced penalising every error is the way to go here.

  5. At least we moved (parts of) the town of (old) Adaminaby to a higher location (mid to late 50’s) then allowed the rest to flood by virtue of a new dam to create Lake Eucumbene part of The Snowy Mountains hydro electric-scheme.
    Allegedly the area was the inspiration for our Australian poem “The Man From Snowy River”. Isn’t that exciting? Thought not.
    Even less exciting is I’ve been inside the dam wall as it was constructed Thanks uncle Fred (an engineer on the project) I still haven’t recovered from claustrophobia and the fear of being buried alive.
    Hydro good.Coal bad.

    1. Ugh. Sounds horrible. I am absurdly claustrophobic (my gf finds it funny to sit on my chest and hands when I’m sleeping and watch me panic and freak out even though she’s only 98 pounds).

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