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Stewards take no action against Mercedes over low tire pressures in Italian Grand Prix

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The FIA stewards have taken no action against Mercedes over a suspected technical infringement during today’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

In the aftermath of Lewis Hamilton’s victory, it was revealed that the FIA technical delegate had referred both of Mercedes’ cars to the stewards after they were found to be running under the minimum starting tire pressure.

Hamilton’s tire was found to be 0.3 PSI under the minimum starting pressure, whilst Rosberg – who ultimately retired from the race at Monza due to an engine failure – was running 1.1 PSI too low.

However, the stewards have determined that the tires were running at the minimum start pressure recommended by Pirelli when they were attached to the car.

“Having heard from the Technical Delegate, the Team Representatives and the Pirelli Team Tire engineer, the Stewards have determined that the pressure in the tires concerned were at the minimum start pressure recommended by Pirelli when they were fitted to the car,” a statement from the stewards reads.

“In making this determination regarding the pressures, the Stewards noted that the tire warming blankets had been disconnected from their power source, as is normal procedure, and the tires were significantly below the maximum permitted tire blanket temperature at the time of the FIA’s measurement on the grid, and at significantly different temperatures from other cars measured on the grid.

“Further, the Stewards are satisfied that the team followed the currently specified procedure, supervised by the Tire Manufacturer, for the safe operation of the tires.

“Therefore the Stewards decide to take no further action.

“Nevertheless, the Stewards recommend that the Tire Manufacturer and the FIA hold further meetings to provide clear guidance to the teams on measurement protocols.”

As a result, Hamilton’s victory at Monza stands, meaning that he opens up a 53-point lead in the drivers’ championship ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.

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

Porsche Mid-Ohio COVID-19
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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.