Pirelli confirm tire choices for Belgium, Italy and Singapore

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Pirelli has confirmed the tire compounds that it will be bringing to the Belgian, Italian and Singapore Grands Prix in the next few months.

The Italian manufacturer has endured a difficult season so far, initially battling criticism from the teams for producing a tire that had too short an operating window thus preventing drivers from pushing for more than a few laps. After trying to remedy this problem, the British Grand Prix saw five tire failures cause many to question the safety of the tires. Therefore, a more conservative stance has been takien for the coming few races.

For the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps, the hard and medium tires will be used. “Spa is the circuit that puts the highest vertical load on the front tires all season, mainly due to Eau Rouge corner. Consequently, the two hardest tires from Pirelli’s Formula One range are the most suitable,” a statement from Pirelli reads.

The same compounds will be offered to teams at the Italian GP due to the heavy braking zones at the fastest track on the F1 calendar. “Whereas Spa is characterized by a lot of fast corners, Monza is all about high-speed straights. Here, the tires are subjected to very high longitudinal forces and blistering can be an issue due to the stress put on the tires under braking,” Pirelli explained.

For Singapore though, the medium and supersoft tires will be used, again marking a change from the compounds used last season (soft/supersoft). Being a street circuit, the tires are not subjected to as much wear, and “the tight and twisty corners make the supersoft the ideal tire to generate traction and grip, while the medium tire adds extra durability into the strategy mix,” according to Pirelli.

This weekend will also see the first use of the 2012 tire constructions, introduced on safety grounds.

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.