Hamilton: Tough breaks only make me stronger

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He may have suffered more than his fair share of bad luck so far this season, but Lewis Hamilton believes that it has only made him stronger as he chases his second Formula 1 world title in 2014.

The Mercedes driver currently trails teammate Nico Rosberg by eleven points at the top of the standings, but he has suffered one more retirement than the German in races this season. In the past two races, technical failures during qualifying have left Hamilton starting from the back of the grid: he finished on the podium in both Germany (from P20) and Hungary (from the pit lane).

“It’s been damage limitation for me in the last couple of races and we’ve had some difficult weekends throughout this season,” Hamilton explained in an interview on the team’s official website. “But if I’m honest, looking back at it now, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

“Sometimes it’s nice to have things easy, but I love a challenge and I love a fight. It’s not the times of ease that show who you are – it’s the times of adversity.

“I definitely feel like the tough breaks I’ve had this year have made me stronger, and hopefully I’ve shown that I’ve got heart.”

Hamilton appears to have the momentum heading into the summer break, with the next race coming at the end of August with the Belgian Grand Prix.

“To have taken two podiums from difficult weekends before the break has been really satisfying,” he said. “It allows me to smile and enjoy this time off knowing that I still have an opportunity to fight for this championship.”

With just eleven points separating the two championship protagonists and eight races to go, this title fight looks set to rage on until the final round in Abu Dhabi, where double points could settle things.

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.