Sergio Perez backs new double points rule for F1 season finale

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So far, the FIA’s decision to award double points for drivers and constructors at the Formula One season finale starting next season has been thoroughly roasted by fans and dubbed “absurd” by the World Champion.

But there had to be somebody with a sunny outlook on the controversial new rule, and that somebody is Force India’s newest hire, Sergio Perez (pictured, left, with new boss Vijay Mallya).

After yesterday’s announcement that he would team up with Nico Hulkenberg at Force India in 2014, Perez gave his take on the new regulations that include the “double points” initiative – which he regarded as a good thing.

“For some, it will be right and for some it will be wrong, but I see the positive,” Perez said yesterday according to Reuters. “I think it will create a much better final race where things can completely change for everyone.

“I see it positive…I am OK with the rule.”

The Mexican racer, who migrates over to Force India from a single season at McLaren, is clearly in the vast minority as fans around the world have declared “double points” as an artificial and unnecessary addition to the battle for the World Championship.

Many journalists have also been full-throated in their disapproval, with Oliver Brown’s piece on the subject in Britain’s Telegraph newspaper among the more pointed; among other things, Brown writes that “the desire for a perfect conclusion is so insatiable that the [FIA] suits in Paris are content with warping the very spirit of the competition.”

Seems like a proper summary of the whole matter, doesn’t it? That said, you have to admire Perez trying to stick up for the rule in the face of such overwhelming negativity…

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.