Bottas’ scoring streak continues with fifth place in Spain

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Valtteri Bottas has continued his scintillating start to the 2014 Formula 1 season with an excellent fifth place finish at today’s Spanish Grand Prix.

The Finn started the race from fourth place on the grid, and made a great start to pass Daniel Ricciardo into turn one and follow the Mercedes drivers in third place. He then kept Ricciardo at bay throughout the first stint, but the team waited a long time before pitting him. This proved to be costly as the Red Bull driver easily passed him in the pits, and went on to finish on the podium.

Bottas continued to push on, but he could not hold off Sebastian Vettel in the other Red Bull during the final few laps of the race. The defending world champion had far fresher tires, and eased past to move up into fourth place.

Despite losing these positions, Bottas is still delighted with his performance, and felt that he could have given no more.

“Today we did our best,” he said. “The strategy was correct and the team did really well in the pitstops, I made no mistake on the track so we made the maximum of what was on offer and got some good points from it.

“It’s pleasing to be in the points and it equals my best ever result.”

Indeed, Bottas has now matched his fifth place finish at the Australian Grand Prix back in March, and is keen on pushing ahead for the rest of the season.

“It was a shame Vettel was so quick at the end, I tried to defend, but he had fresher tires,” he explained. “The atmosphere in the team is fantastic, we are all pushing forward and points feed that hunger.”

With this result, Bottas has now scored points in all five races so far this season, and currently sits P7 in the drivers’ championship. Teammate Felipe Massa failed to pick up any points for the second race in a row after struggling with his tires, and eventually crossed the line in 13th place.

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.