Bottas hoping for rain in race tomorrow

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Valtteri Bottas is banking on the Belgian Grand Prix being a wet race despite being caught out in the tricky conditions today during qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps.

The Finnish driver stunned the F1 world when he finished an incredible P3 in the last wet qualifying session at the Canadian Grand Prix. However, he could not emulate this form today and qualified a disappointing twentieth.

“It was very tricky,” Bottas explained after qualifying. “I think the track was getting better quicker than we expected and in the end the slicks were the right option. It’s easy to say afterwards, but we were on the wrong tire at the end.”

Max Chilton, Jules Bianchi and Giedo van der Garde were all able to make it through on the slick tire whilst Bottas and teammate Pastor Maldonado were stuck on intermediates. Despite the conditions hindering his qualifying effort today, the Finn is still hoping for wet weather in the race tomorrow.

“I still hope for some rain. Starting from so far back, it could be tricky in the dry. Rain can always mix things up, so it would be better for us.”

Williams’ season so far has been highly disappointing, scoring a single point in the opening ten races. However, Bottas has already proved this season that he can excel in the wet, meaning that if the forecast rain strikes Spa tomorrow, we could yet see the team fighting for points once again.

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.