Ricciardo relishing Red Bull’s home grand prix in Austria

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Daniel Ricciardo is hoping to keep the momentum that he gained in Canada going at next weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver claimed a shock victory in Montreal after capitalizing on problems for both Mercedes cars. Race leader Nico Rosberg hit trouble at two-thirds distance, allowing the pack to close. Ricciardo managed to make the move for a lead with three laps remaining, and secured his maiden victory in the sport.

Heading to his team’s home race in Austria, Ricciardo is hoping that he can keep things going in the right direction despite having little experience at the Red Bull Ring.

“It’s great to be going to Red Bull’s home race after an awesome weekend in Canada,” Ricciardo said. “I’ve only driven the Red Bull Ring on filming days, essentially a handful of laps without the out-and-out aggression that you’ll see at the Austrian Grand Prix weekend. It’s a tidy circuit, not the longest and not many corners, but what is there is good.

“It’s very odd going to what, essentially, is a new race but in a place where the racing history is firmly established. It sounds as though there will be a massive crowd up in the mountains and I’m sure the return of the Austrian Grand Prix will get off to a really good start.”

The Austrian Grand Prix’s return has been brokered by Red Bull supremo Dietrich Mateschitz, who also owns the circuit in Spielberg. It will be Red Bull’s first ever home grand prix since debuting back in 2005, and both Ricciardo and teammate Sebastian Vettel will be hoping to make it a weekend to remember.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).