Gutierrez focusing on tire management in Spain

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Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez believes that tire management will be key at next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix as he looks to pick up his first points in Formula One.

Gutierrez has recorded a best result of 12th so far this season, but a difficult Bahrain Grand Prix weekend saw him finish behind Caterham’s Charles Pic. However, he is sure of a good result relying the Sauber C32 is easy on its tires.

“As the first of a series of European races, I think it is going to be an exciting event and I’m looking forward to that,” Gutierrez said in a team statement.

“The track is quite demanding, especially the last sector. Tire management will be crucial here, and, especially during a qualifying lap, you need to nurse your tires in the first two sectors in order to get a clean third sector. You must make sure the tires still have good grip when you approach the final corners of the lap, including the chicane.”

The Circuit de Catalunya is a track that Gutierrez knows well after two of the winter tests were held there, and he will be hoping to put this experience to good use.

“The first time I raced in Barcelona was in 2008. I know the track and during the winter tests I was also able to experience driving a F1 car there.”

Gutierrez’s F1 baptism has been rather disappointing, failing to match the form of teammate Nico Hulkenberg. Although the C32 car has its problems, the Mexican driver will need to score some points in the next few races if he is to vindicate Sauber’s decision to take him on for 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.