Massa proves he will “work for myself” by refusing to let Alonso past

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Felipe Massa said he would “work for myself” after losing his seat at Ferrari in 2014 and made good on that promise during the Japanese Grand Prix by refusing to heed an order to let his team mate pass.

The Ferrari drivers ran fifth and sixth after the start of the race with Alonso less than a second behind Massa.

Ferrari repeatedly told Massa to let Alonso past using the coded instruction “Multifunction strategy A” which was heard on the team radio during the race.

However Massa refused to let Alonso by. Just three races ago in Italy, before his departure from Ferrari was announced, he had let Alonso by with little difficulty.

Massa famously gave up a potential victory to Alonso in the 2010 German Grand Prix when he was told to let his team mate past. Last year Ferrari deliberately incurred a gearbox change penalty on Massa’s car at the United States Grand Prix to move Alonso one place forwards on the grid.

Alonso eventually managed to pass Massa for the place, but not before Nico Hulkenberg had taken advantage of their delay to pass the pair of them. Following yesterday’s race Massa said: “It was an instruction. I am never happy with an instruction.”

Alonso was eager to play down the incident afterwards, saying: “We cannot make a big thing about this.”

“We are racing and whatever we do today, we finished more or less in the same positions because we could not achieve anything more. I don’t know exactly what happened, but there are zero problems.”

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.