Webber: Race engineer Pilbeam “will be missed”

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Mark Webber says he will miss long-standing race engineer Ciaron Pilbeam who has moved to work with Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus in 2013.

“A lot of the results I’ve had have been with Ciaron,” says Webber in the video below. “All of the wins he’s had in Formula One have been with me as well so we’ve had some really good times together.”

“He chose to move to a different team so he’ll be missed, obviously, at Red Bull, but we have a great engineer in Simon Rennie who’s coming from Lotus, Enstone.”

“This is part of Formula One,” he added. “Unfortunately there is sometimes some changes but it moves in a way where everyone is still positive to work with, a fresh start and a new environment. Ciaron is happy to have a change of scenery as well, so he’s happy there because you don’t want him not to be happy where he is.”

Webber and Pilbeam – highs and lows

Highs:

  • Monaco 2010 and 2012 – Two wins in F1’s most prestigious race
  • Silverstone 2010 – Webber shrugs off pre-race wing controversy to win. “Not bad for a number two driver” he says on the radio afterwards
  • China 2011 – A disastrous qualifying leaves Webber 18th on the grid, but he races through the field to finish third

Lows:

  • Japan 2007 – An unwell Webber bravely races on despite throwing up in his helmet while talking to Pilbeam. But he is taken out by future team mate Sebastian Vettel while running second
  • Korea 2010 – Webber’s title hopes are wrecked when he crashes out in foul weather
  • Britain 2011 – Team principal Christian Horner takes over from Pilbeam on Webber’s radio, ordering him to “maintain the gap” to Vettel. Webber does not comply, but finishes the race behind his team mate

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.