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Rosberg hoping to take advantage of Hamilton’s start woes in Spain

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Nico Rosberg hopes to make the most of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton’s start-line woes in 2016 in tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix as he goes in search of an eighth consecutive Formula 1 victory.

Rosberg arrived in Spain on Thursday leading the drivers’ championship by 43 points, having claimed four wins in the first four races of the season.

However, he was forced to settle for second place in Saturday’s qualifying session as Hamilton stormed to pole position by three-tenths of a second.

Rosberg conceded that Hamilton had done a better job than him in qualifying, but immediately turned his attention to the race.

“Lewis did the better job today but tomorrow is when it really counts,” Rosberg said.

“There is a big opportunity for me at the beginning: I had some good starts this year and Lewis hasn’t led into the first corner this season so far. Maybe in the race there will be an opportunity.

“Tire usage will also play a factor and the right strategy will be crucial. So I’m expecting a pretty interesting race and I’m looking forward to the battle.

“We need to keep eye on Red Bull as well, as they are surprisingly stronger than Ferrari here.”

While Hamilton made poor starts in Australia and Bahrain, he has in fact made up positions at the opening corner in the last two races.

The Spanish Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7am ET on Sunday.

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.