In the round-up: Daniel Ricciardo says he isn’t rooting for either world championship contenders, but suspects one would be a more popular winner.

In brief

Verstappen would be popular champion – Ricciardo

Ricciardo, who was Max Verstappen’s team mate at Red Bull between 2016 and 2018, suspects he would be a more popular world champion this year than Lewis Hamilton, who has won the last four titles in a row.

“I think just kind of ‘may the best man win’,” said Ricciardo when asked whether he had a preference between either of the title contenders.

“The rivalry they’ve had this year has been pretty awesome, as a fan. I think they’ve left it all out there. So from that point of view, I think they are where they are, I think it’s fair at the moment in terms of they are nip-and-tuck. So no preference.

“I think obviously people do like to see like a fresh face, so maybe Max is the more popular vote because it would be a first title for him and it’s something new and exciting for everyone. So that’s always like you’ve got that feel-good story.

Feature: How do Hamilton and Verstappen’s rivals see their championship fight?

“But I think as long as no misfortune is involved, then I think the guy that wins is the one that’s going to deserve it.”

Formula 2 to help teams meet cost of record calendar

After announcing the longest F2 calendar in the 17-year history of the series and its predecessor GP2, CEO Bruno Michel says teams will be given assistance to meet the rising costs they face. While F2 will move from triple to double-header events next year, the number of rounds will almost double from eight to 14.

“A lot of circuits have expressed their interest to have our championship added to their race weekend programme, but for costs reasons, we cannot increase the number of rounds more than we already have,” said Michel. “This calendar will of course induce an increase of our teams’ budgets, but we will support them so that they are able to manage the extra costs.”

Ricciardo’s NASCAR run confirmed

Ricciardo will have his promised run in team CEO Zak Brown’s ex-Dale Earnhardt 1984 Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR at next week’s United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas. Brown promised Ricciardo in the run as a prize for his first podium finish for the team, which he achieved with his victory in the Italian Grand Prix.

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On this day in motorsport

Lewis Hamilton couldn’t keep Sebastian Vettel from victory on this day in 2011



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