Hamilton: Mercedes are ready to win

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Lewis Hamilton has finally admitted that he believes Mercedes are in a position to win a grand prix in 2013.

Throughout pre-season and even during the first two races, Hamilton denied that he was aiming to win this year, but following a strong third place finish in Malaysia, he appears to have changed his tune.

When asked by Autosport if he could win this season, Hamilton said “definitely.”

“I think the Malaysia performance proves that if we keep going in the direction we are heading, then we can win a race at some stage this year.”

Hamilton even suggested that Mercedes could have won last Sunday’s race in Malaysia had he not needed to save fuel.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough fuel in the car. I was fuel saving at the end like you would not believe. I was coasting everywhere.

“I’m sure if we were all on the same fuel it would have been a different situation, so I’m confident about that. ”

Mercedes certainly proved that they could compete with the front runners in Malaysia, finishing in third and fourth, but their pace in the opening race in Australia does undermine Hamilton’s beliefs. However, until Mercedes entered fuel saving mode towards the end of the Malaysian GP, they did manage to stick with both Red Bull drivers.

The result certainly bodes well for the team, and relying they can continue to develop the W04, one would expect the Silver Arrows to be challenging for victories in 2013.

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.