Nasr: Sauber must remain patient for updates

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Felipe Nasr has called on Sauber to make it through a difficult patch and be patient until updates for the C34 car arrive at the Belgian Grand Prix in August.

Nasr made his Formula 1 debut at the beginning of the season in Australia, where he finished fifth, but has picked up points on just two more occasions in the opening ten races.

Nevertheless, the Brazilian believes that Sauber has achieved most of what it set out to do at the start of the season.

“Looking back to the beginning of the season, we have achieved most of the goals we had for the first half of the season,” Nasr said. “We maximized our opportunities, especially in the beginning of the season; therefore, we were able to score important points.

“The result of the Australian Grand Prix was impressive. Finishing fifth was very special for me, as well as for the team.”

Nasr made no secret of Sauber’s recent struggles, but called on the team to keep its head up and make it through a rough patch until its updates for the C34 car arrive in Belgium next month.

“At the moment we are facing a rather difficult time,” Nasr said. “We have our updates in Spa-Francorchamps and Singapore, so we have to be patient.

“We are halfway through the season, and I think we are going in the right direction. For myself as a driver, I am learning something new every weekend.

“It is my first year as a race driver in Formula One with ups and downs. As a team we have done some good things so far.”

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.