Lotterer’s one-off F1 appearance ends after just a single lap

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Andre Lotterer’s one-off F1 appearance for Caterham at last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix came to an early end after the German was forced to retire following a loss of power at the end of the first lap.

The three-time Le Mans winner was confirmed to be replacing Kamui Kobayashi for the race earlier this week, with Caterham citing his experience as the main reason for acquiring his services.

Lotterer managed to outqualify full-time driver Marcus Ericsson despite only stepping in the car on Friday, and made a good start in the race on Sunday before being sidelined when he lost power.

“I didn’t even get to sweat unfortunately,” Lotterer joked after the race. “I was really looking forward to a good race and I had a good start, but then I went a bit wide at turn 17 and there was a sudden loss of power. The team and Renault will have to investigate this tonight and see what happened.

“It’s a shame, but I am pleased with my race weekend. I made no mistakes and did a reasonably good job.

“Of course it would’ve been fantastic to finish the race and do a whole grand prix, but it’s still been an amazing weekend. I can go home happy even though it didn’t really end the way I would’ve liked it to.”

Lotterer was quick to thank the team for giving him the chance to make his F1 debut at Spa, and he will now turn his attention back to his endurance racing commitments with Audi.

“I want to thank Caterham F1 Team for this amazing opportunity,” he said. “It’s been fantastic to experience Formula 1, I got a lot of support and the team has been great. It’s frustrating to have only completed one lap of the race, but this is motorsport and these things happen.”

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.