Massa’s Ferrari career ends with seventh place finish in Brazil

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Felipe Massa’s Ferrari career has come to a somewhat frustrating end in Brazil today after a drive-through penalty ended his hopes of finishing his final race for the Scuderia on the podium.

Massa made a good start from ninth place on the grid to lie in sixth after the first lap, but he found himself in fourth place after passing Nico Rosberg on track and Lewis Hamilton during the first round of pit stops. However, with Hamilton staying in close company, Massa was found to have cut across the pit entry line despite the FIA warning drivers about doing so earlier this week. It was a rather menial penalty, but given that the FIA had made clear that it was not permitted, a drive-through penalty was the only action that could be taken. Massa was less than impressed, calling it “unacceptable” and “unbelievable” over the radio.

Despite this setback, Massa recovered to finish the race in seventh place for Ferrari when Lewis Hamilton was also handed a drive-through penalty following a run-in with Valtteri Bottas.

However, Massa would have been set to clinch a podium finish after Fernando Alonso revealed after the race that he would have let his teammate past in order to claim one final top three result for the Scuderia.

“It was the last race for Felipe at Ferrari and we wanted to help in whatever way to try to celebrate a podium finish with Felipe, but he got a drive through,” Alonso explained to journalists in Brazil after the race.

Nevertheless, Massa has enjoyed the heyday of his career with the Italian marque, and he will now be hoping to enjoy some success with Williams when he moves to the British team in 2014.

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.