Rosberg nails final Q3 lap to take fifth pole in six races

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Nico Rosberg was delighted to clinch his fifth pole in six races during today’s qualifying session for the Hungarian Grand Prix, but was disappointed not to enjoy a gloves off battle with teammate Lewis Hamilton at the Hungaroring.

For the second weekend in a row, Hamilton was sidelined during Q1 after a fuel leak on his car which started a fire. Rosberg still had to battle with Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas for pole position, as well as dealing with a red flag and rain during Q3, and he was delighted with his efforts in the final part of qualifying.

“Yeah, Q3 was really a big challenge, because the track was just changing all the time in the beginning,” Rosberg explained. “Especially starting the lap with the first set of options, I was the first one to arrive at the first corner, and it’s just difficult to judge how much risk I can take and how late can I brake.”

“It was very, very wet, so I did take it a bit easy and managed to avoid crashing. It was just massively difficult down there.

“From then on it was easier because it started drying again, and especially on my last lap, I really managed to nail it.”

Rosberg was disappointed not to enjoy a straight fight with Hamilton for pole position, believing that it would have made the result all the sweeter if he had beaten his teammate and championship rival.

“That’s been a pity for the team,” Rosberg said. “Not a good thing definitely, and we need to keep on working on that. That’s reliability.

“I would prefer to be out there battling with Lewis, so that would give me the maximum adrenaline rush. Of course I’m very, very happy, but it wasn’t a gloves off battle with Lewis, so that takes a little bit of the happiness.

“Anyway, tomorrow is going to be a long race, and a challenging race, especially with the weather coming.”

You can watch the Hungarian Grand Prix live on CNBC and Live Extra from 7:30am ET tomorrow.

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.