Hamilton delighted despite car struggles

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Lewis Hamilton has made no secret of the battle he has waged with the Mercedes W04 car so far this season, and he explained further how it was difficult to fine tune and perfect the setup of the car despite scoring his second pole position of the season at the British Grand Prix.

The 2008 world champion posted a fastest time of 1:29.607 – a full four-tenths clear of closest rival Nico Rosberg – to seal his second pole position at Silverstone with a stunning lap in the dying moments of qualifying. However, he hasn’t had it so easy this weekend.

“I really have been struggling with the car, trying to get it to behave the way I want it to,” Hamilton explained in the post-race press conference.

“We have a great car, but to fine tune seems a little bit harder. We made the right steps and made a change into qualy which helped.”

Hamilton praised the Mercedes W04 further, believing that it is better than his previous four cars – all with McLaren.

“This is the first time since 2008 that I’ve really had a car I can compete with.”

It is worth noting that in this time, Hamilton still won many races and even had a shot at the championship come the final round in 2010. Regardless, he is evidently delighted to be a part of the Mercedes setup, and this pole will certainly go down as one of his most important.

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.