Vettel pleased for Ricciardo after “horrible winter”

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Sebastian Vettel may not have won today’s Canadian Grand Prix, but he was quick to heap praise on teammate Daniel Ricciardo who claimed his maiden grand prix victory and Red Bull’s first in 2014.

Vettel eventually crossed the line in third place, with his chances of winning the race being lost due to his strategy that caused him to continually run in dirty air. However, Ricciardo managed to pounce upon Mercedes’ reliability problems and pass leader Nico Rosberg with just a few laps remaining.

“Congratulations to Daniel for his first win, which is very, very special, so I’m happy for him and happy for the team, especially after such a horrible winter,” Vettel said after the race, reflecting on Red Bull’s pre-season problems. “It’s nice to be able to finally break through to get a win this year and capitalise on Mercedes having a problem.”

However, the German driver did question the team’s strategy today, believing that a more risky call would have paid dividends and perhaps allowed him to claim his first win of the season.

“I think we could have taken more risk with the strategy today,” Vettel said. “But it’s hard to know exactly what was going on around me when I’m not sitting on the pit wall.

“We have developed the car a lot this year, so we are going in the right direction, but we need to develop it even more for the straights, so there is still a lot of work ahead of us. We are here to keep pushing and to keep doing our best.”

The German driver has moved back up into fifth place in the drivers’ championship, but trails Ricciardo by 19 points after seven races in 2014. His title hopes may have been over for some time now, but beating his teammate across the course of the season will be crucial for Vettel given his prowess as a four-time champion of the world.

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.