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Ricciardo, Verstappen buoyed by double Red Bull podium at Hockenheim

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Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen were buoyed by a double-podium finish for Red Bull Racing in Sunday’s German Grand Prix as the team moved up to second in the constructors’ championship.

Red Bull arrived in Germany trailing Ferrari by just one point in the standings before locking out the second row of the grid on Sunday.

A good start saw Verstappen and Ricciardo pass pole-sitter Nico Rosberg into the first corner, settling down into second and third behind Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

Although Rosberg was able to pass both Red Bull drivers in the pit stops, a five-second time penalty meant he dropped back before the final stint, leaving Ricciardo and Verstappen to clinch a double-podium finish.

“This is two weekends in a row now with a podium and one of the most refreshing things is seeing so many fans back in Germany,” Ricciardo said after the race.

“It’s obviously great to have the race back here after a year off. Thanks for all the support.

“Thanks to Red Bull Racing, I think it’s the first double podium for us in over a year, so it’s awesome to close out the first part of the season [like that].”

Ricciardo enjoyed a tight battle with Verstappen early on, losing out at Turn 1 before getting back ahead with fresher tires midway through the race.

“It was really close in the first corner with myself and Max. He had a good run on the outside,” Ricciardo said.

“On the super-soft I was much more comfortable and we had good pace for the second half of the race.

“We really capitalized on a good day. We had a good car.

“Obviously we couldn’t win but second and third isn’t too bad, so thanks again.”

Verstappen was delighted to pick up his fourth podium finish in five races, but felt the team result was more important.

“We had good start, from there on I think the pace was pretty good. I was enjoying it,” Verstappen said.

“We chose to do two different strategies on the cars, so I let Daniel by and from there I think we played really well as a team to get a double podium.

“That was the main target, to score more points than Ferrari, and that’s what we definitely did today.”

Red Bull enters the summer break 14 points ahead of Ferrari in the constructors’ championship, and will be aiming to build on that advantage when the F1 paddock reconvenes in Belgium at the end of August.

IndyCar will eliminate double points from the 2020 season finale

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Though the NTT IndyCar Series hasn’t confirmed the date of its 2020 season finale, it has determined that double points won’t be in play.

An IndyCar official confirmed Monday to NBCSports.com that whether the season ends at Weather Tech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, or on the streets of St. Petersburg, neither race will feature double points. Team owners were informed of the change during a conference call last week.

The news was first reported by RACER.com.

With the original 17-race schedule having been shortened by the cancellation of at least three races (Circuit of The Americas, Barber Motorsports Park, the Long Beach Grand Prix), using double points in the finale would have carried even greater weight (and perhaps more so if more races are unable to be run because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

IndyCar has been using double points at select races since the 2015 season. The 104th Indianapolis 500 will remain a double-points event.

In rescheduling the Indy 500 to Aug. 23 last week, IndyCar unveiled a revised schedule that listed Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg as TBD for its season finale. The race originally had been scheduled to open the season before being called off because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

IndyCar CEO Mark Miles told reporters last week that St. Pete probably would be slotted into the first two weeks October after the Sept. 20 race at Laguna Seca that had been slated to be the season finale for the second consecutive year.