Alonso says Ferrari could miss Massa as Raikkonen comes on board

1 Comment

There’s a reason why they call Kimi Raikkonen “The Iceman,” as he is often a man of few words. And that may have his new Ferrari teammate, Fernando Alonso, worried about what’s to come in 2014.

In an interview with Brazilian publication Totalrace, the two-time World Champion noted Raikkonen’s frosty demeanor and that in the end, Ferrari could miss the input from Williams-bound Felipe Massa.

“Definitely Felipe was a hard worker,” Alonso said. “He works day and night for the team to improve the car’s performance…I don’t know Kimi, but the rumors say that he speaks very little and is a bit more isolated. So I think that Ferrari could miss [Massa].”

Raikkonen was the last Ferrari driver to claim a World Championship in 2007, and how he’ll get along with the sometimes fiery Alonso will be a storyline to watch throughout the 2014 season.

But just as important is if the Scuderia can produce a car that enables both of them to have a chance at knocking off Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull. A six-year championship drought is getting annoying for F1’s all-time winningest franchise, with president Luca di Montezemolo recently saying that he was “definitely sick of coming second.”

So while Alonso may be preparing to have some difficulties along the way with Raikkonen, he’s also fully aware that a strong car can overcome them.

“If it’s good, like the Red Bull, it doesn’t matter if there’s ‘Multi-21’, ‘Multi-35′ or anything like that,” Alonso said while referencing the drama that Sebastian Vettel and now-WEC driver Mark Webber had in their final year together. “Because the atmosphere in the team will be great.”

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
1 Comment

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.