Mercedes set to clinch constructors’ championship in Russia

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Mercedes is set to clinch the Formula 1 constructors’ championship at today’s Russian Grand Prix, requiring just 25 points to guarantee the title with three races remaining.

The German team currently sits on 522 points, some 190 ahead of Red Bull in second place (332). With this weekend included, teams can score a possible 215 further points by finishing first and second in each of the remaining four races – remember that Abu Dhabi is worth double the points.

Therefore, if Mercedes scores 25 points – equivalent to a race win or its drivers finishing third and fifth – it will win its first ever F1 constructors’ championship, with the trophy not being awarded when it last raced in F1 back in the 1950s.

Of course, this is calculated assuming that Red Bull can finish the race in first and second place. Given that Daniel Ricciardo will start sixth and Sebastian Vettel will start 10th, it is unlikely that the defending champion team will be able to challenge the frontrunners on Sunday.

Although many expected Mercedes to clinch the title at an earlier date, the success will taste sweet nevertheless after a tenuous season for the team. It will also allow Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton to focus on their bids for the drivers’ championship without the concerns surrounding the team’s own title tilt.

CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONSHIP PERMUTATIONS

  • If Mercedes scores 25 points in today’s race, it will win the constructors’ title regardless of what Red Bull does.
  • Red Bull must outscore Mercedes by 19 points today to keep the championship alive to Austin.

You can watch the Russian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 6:30am ET today.

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.