Ecclestone: New F1 rules are “nonsense”

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Even as his own future in the sport is somewhat uncertain with a pending trial, Bernie Ecclestone still isn’t holding back when it comes to opinions of the new age of Formula One.

Ecclestone spoke to Reuters Friday after Red Bull confirmed it was leaving the first test of the year early due to various teething issues.

He first called the new technical regulations “complete, utter nonsense,” and then added his official statement of disappointment.

“I am disappointed. I hate saying ‘I told you so’, but I’m disappointed because I did say I told you so and this is what’s happened,” he said, via Alan Baldwin of Reuters F1.

He added, “We had an engine that was perfect, everybody liked the sound, it was reliable, didn’t cause anybody trouble and was much, much more cheap than what they currently have to use.”

He also called last year’s championship “very good,” even though Sebastian Vettel ran away with the title with nine consecutive victories to end the season.

We now have a situation in F1 where there’s something of a disconnect between the teams, the powers-that-be, and the fans.

The PTB all agreed upon the new regulations, led by the shift to 1.6L V6 turbocharged power units. Additionally, the controversial double points finale at Abu Dhabi was suggested, then ratified.

All of this seems to fly in the face of the man who’s led F1 for decades, Ecclestone, but is quickly feeling a loss of his nearly eternal power grip. His opinions presented Friday seem exactly the opposite of what the new F1 is trying to produce.

And the fans, who didn’t ask for some of these new regulations, are completely shut out of the decision-making process. I doubt many considered the 2013 championship “very good,” as Ecclestone did. All they can do is accept the strange-looking 2014 cars, the new regulations and continue to voice their opinions in the hopes that they’ll eventually be heard.

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.