Ecclestone will run F1 “the way I’ve always run it”

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A defiant Bernie Ecclestone insisted he will continue to run F1 the way he always has while appearing before the High Court in London, England.

Ecclestone was giving evidence at one of several investigations he currently faces. The case brought by German media company Constantin Medien alleges Ecclestone arranged for F1 to be sold at less than its true value to owners CVC in order to retain his control over the sport.

“I really don’t know what limit anybody could put on my authority,” said Ecclestone. “I shall run the business the way I always have run it, with all the different shareholders that we’ve had, and the different companies, or whatever. And I will continue as I do today.”

Among the revelations to emerge during his four days of cross-examination was a claim that he recently agreed a high-value deal, the details of which are yet to become public.

“I travel the world making business on a hand shake,” said Ecclestone when asked whether he asked the sports’ owners in 2004 to publicly affirm he would not be dismissed. “And all of a sudden I’m no longer in any position to do anything, so who would want to accept my signature on a contract?”

“I’ve just signed a contract now for 600 million-odd with people over the weekend. I can’t do that if people think I’m going to be fired in the morning.”

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.