Losing time behind Button “crucial” for Vettel

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Sebastian Vettel has explained how he lost the chance to challenge Lewis Hamilton for victory today at the Hungarian Grand Prix after getting stuck behind Jenson Button following his first pit stop.

Vettel pitted on lap 11 for fresh tires in an attempt to catch Hamilton, but he instead came out of the pits behind Button which allowed Hamilton to pull away. Instead of quickly passing Button, Vettel lost twelve laps behind the McLaren driver and he believes that this was “crucial” in determining the result of the race.

“It was not the best race,” Vettel said on the podium after the race. “The start was difficult and when Lewis pulled in we thought we could do it on the softs. I lost a bit and came out behind Jenson which was crucial. I damaged my front wing which did not help.”

In the final stint of the race, Vettel came close to passing Kimi Raikkonen for 2nd place but he could not find a way past.

“I tried to hang on in there and tried to fight back with Kimi. I could not get him on the straight. We wanted a little bit more today.”

Despite failing to win the Hungarian Grand Prix for the first time, Vettel has extended his lead in the drivers’ championship to 38 points, putting him in a strong position heading into the summer break.

Porsche pulls GTLM cars from Mid-Ohio because of COVID-19 positives

Porsche Mid-Ohio COVID-19
David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Porsche will skip Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race with its two GTLM cars at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after three positive COVID-19 tests were confirmed during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

That resulted in Porsche choosing to pull out of the Nurburgring 24 Hour endurance race in Germany, electing to avoid sending any team members as a precautionary measure.

Porsche Motorsport announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 decision also would apply at Mid-Ohio to its No. 911 and No. 12 teams.

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Three of Porsche’s four IMSA GTLM drivers — Laurens Vanthoor, Frederic Makowiecki and Nick Tandy — also were racing in Le Mans. The trio has remained isolated in Europe and won’t be allowed to travel.

“Based on yesterday’s decision that no employee or racing driver of our Le Mans team will participate in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we have today decided that this ruling will also apply to the upcoming IWSC race in Mid-Ohio,” Fritz Enzinger, vice president for Porsche Motorsport, said in a release. “This means that Laurens, Nick and Fred will not be traveling to the USA.

“This is very regrettable, but we would like to emphasize that in this case as well the health of all those concerned is the prime focus of the decisions we have taken.”

The decision also affects Earl Bamber, who teamed with Vanthoor to win the GTLM championship last year in the No. 912.

Porsche said its GTLM Porsche 911 RSR-19 entries will return for the Oct. 10 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

That will reduce the GTLM class to four cars — two Corvettes and two BMWs — this weekend at Mid-Ohio, in what could be somewhat of a 2021 preview. Porsche Motorsport announced earlier this year that it will leave IMSA after the 2020 season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.