Brawn: Hamilton has taken time to settle in

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Ross Brawn believes that Lewis Hamilton has taken time to settle in at Mercedes since joining the team at the beginning of the season, but now the Briton is comfortable his future is looking bright.

Hamilton claimed his maiden win for the team last weekend in Hungary and in doing so became the first driver to win a grand prix in all of his first seven seasons in the sport. Brawn is unconcerned by the time it took Hamilton to find his feet, believing that it is normal for there to be an adjustment period.

“When a driver of Lewis’s calibre joins a team, there is massive expectation but every driver takes a little time to settle in, to understand the nuances,” Brawn explained to the BBC. “It has taken a little while but I see great signs, particularly the last few races.”

Brawn also refused to estimate Hamilton’s prospects for the rest of the season, instead believing that he has the momentum to continue his winning streak after the summer break.

“[Hamilton] is starting to pick up momentum and move in the right direction, so we honestly don’t know where the limit is, because we are on a journey with Lewis and we don’t know where the limits are,” Brawn said.

Hamilton trails championship leader Sebastian Vettel by 48 points, but, with nine races left in the season and in this kind of form, it is difficult to rule the 2008 world champion out of the title fight.

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.