Renault Sport

Sainz geared up for Renault F1 debut in United States GP

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Carlos Sainz Jr. is geared up for his maiden outing with the Renault Formula 1 team at next weekend’s United States Grand Prix, but is under no illusions for the challenge he faces.

Renault confirmed the signing of Red Bull junior Sainz on loan for the 2018 season back in Singapore, but struck a deal to secure him for the final four races of the current season following Jolyon Palmer’s departure.

Sainz has only raced for Red Bull B-team Toro Rosso in F1 so far, making his move to a factory operation a significant step up.

Despite relishing the opportunity to embed himself early in Renault, Sainz is well aware of the challenge that is to come as he looks to get up to speed in the Renault R.S.17 car at the Circuit of The Americas.

“I’m very excited to joining the team and I hope to hit the ground running. We have some hard work ahead of us going into Austin with lots of things to learn and many people to meet,” Sainz said.

“I’m going to give everything to be on the pace as soon as possible even though I know it can take a bit of time to adapt, but I’m confident we can do it.

“It’s key to have this immediate taste with Renault and get to know the people and the car. It’s a big challenge, but it motivates me.

“We have this last push for the season and I have to find where the limit of the car is, get used to the steering wheel, things like that. That’s the procedure and I will embrace the challenge.

“It’s good to see the people at Enstone putting the work in to get back to the top. They can be sure all the effort being put in is being matched on my side of things and I will be pushing flat out to help the team.”

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

Porsche Mid-Ohio COVID-19
David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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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.