Mercedes confirms the cause of Hamilton’s Germany brake failure

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Mercedes has finally diagnosed the cause of Lewis Hamilton’s brake failure during qualifying for the German Grand Prix five weeks ago, confirming that the quality of the part itself was not the problem.

The Briton suffered a huge crash during the first part of qualifying at Hockenheim after losing control under braking. At the time, the team deemed it to be a right-front brake disc failure, with the exact cause being unknown. The shunt was severe enough to warrant a visit to the medical centre, where Hamilton was given the all-clear by the circuit doctors.

Mercedes confirmed that it would immediately investigate the issue with brake supplier Brembo, and released a statement in Hungary saying that no definitive cause had yet been defined.

However, the German marque has today confirmed that the issue was caused by the interaction between the structure of the brake material and the brake mounting on Hamilton’s car.

The full statement from Mercedes and Brembo reads:

“Following extensive joint analysis of the previously unseen failure mode experienced by Lewis Hamilton during Q1 at the German Grand Prix, Brembo and Mercedes have reached definitive conclusions concerning the cause of the failure.

“First of all, both parties can now confirm that the quality of the disc material was not a contributory factor. Instead, extensive analysis and experimentation has demonstrated that the specific interaction between the structure of the brake material in question and the brake mounting on the F1 W05 Hybrid was at the root of the failure.

“Countermeasures have already been applied to both the disc geometry and the mounting to ensure there can be no repeat of the failure. These developments allow the team to once again run Brembo brake disc material, should it choose to do so, in race conditions.”

The Briton will start today’s Belgian Grand Prix from the front row of the grid behind teammate and championship rival Nico Rosberg.

You can watch the race live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7.30am ET today.

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.