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Ricciardo: Interlagos ‘doesn’t really do it for me’

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Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo has made no secret of his lack of enthusiasm for racing at Interlagos in Brazil, saying the track “doesn’t really do it” for him.

The Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, better known as Interlagos, has hosted the Brazilian Grand Prix every year since 1990 and is one of the most iconic circuits in Formula 1.

However, Ricciardo is not a massive fan of the track, explaining in Red Bull’s pre-race preview that he does not get great satisfaction out of racing there.

“Brazil’s a wonderful grand prix with a great atmosphere in an exciting city but the track doesn’t really do it for me,” Ricciardo admitted.

“There’s just not a corner that gives you any real satisfaction. I don’t want to make it sound dull, because it isn’t, but like Russia, there isn’t a corner that makes you go woo-hoo! It needs a few more corners and something really high speed.

“There’s a couple that look good on paper but because of the cambers, you never really have the grip to go barrelling in. The crowd really gets your heart-rate up before the sessions, so you want to be really on it but instead have to be very patient.”

Following a raucous return to Mexico last weekend, F1 is preparing for another unique atmosphere in Brazil next Sunday, and Ricciardo is relishing the opportunity to race in front of the local fans.

“The start-finish straight is very narrow, so if your grid slot is on the outside, you’re about two meters away from the grandstand,” Ricciardo said.

“You better hope they like you because if not you’re a pretty easy target when you’re pulling your helmet on! It’s a good time though. Lots of noise, lots of airhorns, trumpets, drums. Like Mexico, it’s the crowd you want for a grand prix. Brazilians are cool.”

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.