Sonoma races set to continue as scheduled despite 6.0 earthquake (VIDEO)

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SONOMA, Calif. – No, that evening disruption we got this morning at 3:20 a.m. wasn’t an early wake-up call reminding us to get up ahead of today’s Belgian Grand Prix.

What to me felt like a small tremor, maybe a 3.8 or 4.0 earthquake considering I lived in Orange County, was actually a 6.0 earthquake in Napa (more here from NBC Bay Area). This is the largest reported earthquake in the region in 25 years, since 1989.

However, Sonoma Raceway said in a statement issued this morning all races, the Verizon IndyCar Series, Pirelli World Challenge and Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires events, will continue as scheduled.

Here is the statement:

Racing will continue as planned today at Sonoma Raceway for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Verizon IndyCar® Series event.

The raceway and its facilities experienced no damage from this morning’s 6.0-magnitude earthquake, which was centered in nearby American Canyon. All major systems, including the 12-turn road course, have been inspected by officials, and all emergency responders will be on-site at the facility, as planned. No fans or campers were injured during the quake.

The 85-lap Verizon IndyCar Series event is slated to take the green flag at 1:40 p.m. Race fans are advised to check current reports and road conditions for the best routes to and from the raceway.

It affected a couple IndyCar individuals from Team Penske, with Helio Castroneves, Tim Cindric and his son Austin all posting pictures of hotel damage.

Stay tuned to MotorSportsTalk for further updates from Sonoma. The IndyCar race is set for 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.

‘Still quite early’ for Ricciardo to think about Red Bull F1 future

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Daniel Ricciardo feels it is “still quite early” to make a decision about his Red Bull Formula 1 future despite seeing teammate Max Verstappen announce on Friday he would be staying with the team until 2020.

Verstappen, 20, put pen to paper on an enhanced F1 contract with Red Bull, with his previous deal due to expire at the end of next season in parallel to Ricciardo’s own agreement.

Ricciardo was asked following practice on Friday why he is yet to strike a new deal for himself with Red Bull, and explained he is in no rush to make a final decision when he has over a year to run on his current contract.

“It’s not that I’ve said no to anything. It’s just still quite early I think,” Ricciardo explained.

“People talked a little bit about contracts and the silly season for next year, but I thought that would still happen next year. It’s still quite early.

“If I’m to try and extract some positives out of his news it’s that it gives us good confidence for next year. He and his management see a lot of positives in the team to continue like that.

“I’m 100 per cent here next year, I can at least say that, and I think it gives both of us confidence that we’ll keep progressing the way we are.”

Red Bull said upon announcing Verstappen’s new deal that it wants to “build a team around him”, with the 20-year-old standing out as a once-in-a-generation talent.

The focus surrounding Verstappen has not left Ricciardo feeling as though he is in the shade or in any way playing second-fiddle to the Dutchman, stressing he has no internal concerns at Red Bull.

“For sure, as far as media goes, he certainly gets a lot of attention. He’s broken records for his age and things like that, so rightly so,” Ricciardo said.

“Take the media out of it, as far as inside the team, new parts on the car, things like this, there’s always been parity and equality.”

Verstappen is only the third driver to commit to a deal beyond the end of next season, following Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari and Fernando Alonso at McLaren on multi-year contracts.

All 10 F1 teams have at least one free seat for 2019, making Ricciardo a possible candidate for seats with either Mercedes or Ferrari were he to consider a move away from Red Bull.

Speaking to British broadcaster Sky Sports, Red Bull F1 advisor Helmut Marko said he felt Ricciardo was “putting himself on the market” by waiting to make a decision on his future, but that talks would take place when possible.