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Webber sympathizes with Rosberg’s current struggle

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Mark Webber has sympathized with Nico Rosberg’s current struggle in Formula 1 as the German driver continues to lose ground on Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ championship.

Rosberg (pictured with Webber in 2013) retired from last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix with three laps remaining, which combined with Hamilton’s victory saw the gap at the top of the standings swell to 53 points.

With seven races remaining in the 2015 season, Rosberg is facing an increasingly difficult task to claw his way back into contention and deny his teammate a third championship.

However, he is not alone in his struggle. Webber came close to winning the drivers’ title with Red Bull back in 2010, only to lose out to teammate Sebastian Vettel at the final race of the year.

The Australian struggled to put up any kind of fight in 2011, winning just a single race as Vettel romped to his second world title.

Speaking to Reuters earlier this week, Webber sympathized with Rosberg, saying that picking yourself up after a near-miss was a big challenge.

“The year after is probably the hardest,” Webber said. “In my personal opinion it was.

“Lewis is completely on fire at the moment with how the cars are now and next year is going to be a tall order for Nico to get the high ground.

“Lewis is going to finish the end of the year as a three-times world champion and then it’s in his court to keep that drive and hunger going.”

IndyCar’s season finale at St. Pete approved to have 20,000 fans

IndyCar St. Pete fans
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The NTT IndyCar Series’ season finale will be permitted up to 20,000 fans, making the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg possibly the circuit’s most well-attended race of 2020. The race originally was scheduled as the season opener before being moved to Oct. 25 because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

IndyCar has enjoyed limited crowds at Road America, Iowa Speedway, Gateway, Mid-Ohio and this weekend’s doubleheader races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, which could have up to 10,000 fans in attendance. That had been the largest maximum grandstand crowd for an IndyCar race this season.

At a St. Petersburg city council meeting Thursday, Mayor Rick Kriseman approved plans by race organizers Green Savoree Racing Promotions to hold the Oct. 23-25 weekend for the IndyCar Grand Prix of St. Pete with 20,000 fans who would follow health and safety protocols that include mandatory temperature checks and masks.

 “My thanks to Green Savoree Racing Promotions and IndyCar for their flexibility and resilience during this challenging time,” Kriseman said in a release. “I know that everyone is excited to get back on the track in St. Pete. I can’t wait for Oct. 23rd. I know everyone will embrace this race the St. Pete way, adhering to the COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Let’s have some great racing in the Sunshine City.”

Paddock and the pit lane will remain closed to spectators, and social distancing of at least 6 feet will be observed on site.

“Our entire team greatly appreciates the patience and understanding of our ticket holders as we worked through this process with Mayor Kriseman, City Council and local health officials,” Kim Green, co-owner, chairman and CEO of Green Savoree Promotions. “It’s important for everyone who attends to read and follow all the COVID-19 protocols to contribute to a fun, safe and successful event for us all.”

“The ongoing guidance and support of Mayor Kriseman, City Council, and the City of St. Petersburg’s event team have been phenomenal,” said Kevin Savoree, co-owner, president and COO of Green Savoree Promotions. “We also would not be in this position to move this spring tradition to fall without Firestone’s unwavering commitment and dedication. It’s going to be a terrific weekend again in downtown St. Pete in three weeks featuring world-class racing from INDYCAR.”