Starting grid for the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix

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It may seem odd to call Nico Rosberg starting on pole position a surprise, yet given the fashion in which his teammate Lewis Hamilton dominated practice in Canada, we must call it exactly that.

It was a shock to the F1 paddock, which had seemingly assumed that Hamilton would secure his fifth pole position of the season on Saturday afternoon. Instead, a mistake in the final sector meant that Rosberg nabbed pole by just 0.079 seconds, and Lewis was quick to hold his hands up and admit that his teammate simply did a better job.

Behind the Silver Arrows, Red Bull and Williams appear to be tied in a battle for the final podium position. Just 0.05 seconds covered Sebastian Vettel, Valtteri Bottas, Felipe Massa and Daniel Ricciardo from third to sixth, and with Fernando Alonso also waiting in the wings in seventh place, there could be a fascinating subplot to the main show in Montreal.

FROM THE STEWARDS’ OFFICE

  • Daniel Ricciardo was given a reprimand for dangerously overtaking Pastor Maldonado in the pit lane during practice on Friday. It is his first of the season.
  • Maldonado himself received a reprimand for not replacing his steering wheel after pulling over at the side of the track during qualifying.
  • Kamui Kobayashi will start from 21st position on the grid due to a five place grid penalty for a gearbox change. He qualified in 20th place.
  • Esteban Gutierrez will be allowed to start the race despite not posting a time during qualifying. The Sauber driver crashed during FP3 and required a new chassis. He will start from the pit lane.

2014 CANADIAN GRAND PRIX STARTING GRID

1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
4. Valtteri Bottas Williams
5. Felipe Massa Williams
6. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari
8. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso
9. Jenson Button McLaren
10. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
11. Nico Hulkenberg Force India
12. Kevin Magnussen McLaren
13. Sergio Perez Force India
14. Romain Grosjean Lotus
15. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso
16. Adrian Sutil Sauber
17. Pastor Maldonado Lotus
18. Max Chilton Marussia
19. Jules Bianchi Marussia
20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham
21. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham
PL. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber

You can watch the Canadian Grand Prix live on NBC from 2pm ET, with the pre-race show starting at 1:30pm on NBCSN. Be sure to follow @F1onNBCSports on Twitter for live updates throughout the race.

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.