Bottas backs Raikkonen, reveals dismay about Monza

2 Comments

Valtteri Bottas has backed compatriot Kimi Raikkonen to bounce back from a difficult start to the season and re-find his form soon.

Raikkonen re-joined Ferrari at the beginning of the season after two years with Lotus, and the move was intended to allow both the driver and the team to relive their glory days and mount a serious assault for both world championships.

However, in his first eight races back at Maranello, the Finn has scored just 19 points and has only finished as high as seventh, leading to many questions about his motivation and passion for the sport.

For Bottas, it is merely a blip, and he is confident that his fellow countryman will return to form soon.

“I think he’s okay,” he told to NBC Sports. “For sure, Fernando is giving him a hard time to him. I don’t know the things in detail but for sure he’s struggling with the way the car behaves.

“I think he’s okay. He will get there, I am sure.”

Bottas also spoke about the possible loss of Monza. Earlier this week, Bernie Ecclestone revealed that the historic circuit could be cut from the sport’s calendar as it has been a “commercial disaster”.

“It would be a real shame,” he said. “It’s a great track. I have good memories of there, I won the GP3 title in Monza. For racing, that track is just really special because there’s a lot of overtaking because of the long straights, always good fights and a lot of history. It would be a real shame.”

Bottas will be hoping to follow up his maiden F1 podium finish in Austria with a strong result this weekend at the British Grand Prix. Click here for all of the TV times and broadcasting options.

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.