Ferrari confident their tire test was legal

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Scuderia Ferrari have been quick to clear their name after the FIA asked them to answer a disciplinary inquiry regarding a test at the Circuit de Catalunya following the Bahrain Grand Prix.

After the team lodged a formal protest against Mercedes’ test last Sunday, Ferrari have now been drawn into the debacle after their test was confirmed to have taken place in April. Unlike Mercedes though, Ferrari used an old car – the 2011 F150 Italia – and their reserve drivers. Subsequently, they believe that they have no case to answer for.

“For a bit more of a year there has been a possibility of performing these so-called 1000 kms tests that Pirelli does for its own tire development,” a spokesperson from the team told Speed.

“For Ferrari it has always been very clear that these tests could not make use of a 2013 car. In terms of running an old car, the matter is quite irrelevant, because it is totally within the rules.

“This is something that we have never denied; this was very transparent. All the teams have this possibility. The tires, the specification of the test, is something that Pirelli knows; not us.”

There is certainly a great deal of difference between Ferrari and Mercedes’ tests, making the FIA’s job more difficult. Should they choose to take a strict stance, both teams could face penalties, but it would be the Silver Arrows who are worse off having used their 2013 car.

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.