Can Hamilton take this momentum all the way to Abu Dhabi?

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Lewis Hamilton’s victory under the lights in Singapore yesterday, coupled with the demise of teammate and championship rival Nico Rosberg, has brought the race for the title back to square one. Three points the difference, five races to go, winner takes all.

The British driver was did not have it all his own way on Sunday, though. He was forced to pull out a huge gap over the rest of the field before making his third and final pit stop after the safety car came out at the worst possible moment. However, he did it with relative ease in the end, winning the race by 13.5 seconds.

Drives like these are what champions are made of, and Lewis has been pulling them out of the bag all season long. When he started way back in Germany and Hungary, he put it on the podium on both occasions. In Italy, when he dropped to fourth off the line, he fought back to beat Rosberg. And this time around, he had to wring every last tenth out of the Mercedes to gap the field. It was a titanic effort.

For Rosberg, his setback could not have come at a worse time. By the time of the Japanese Grand Prix, it will be ten weeks since the German driver last won a race – a drought that will unquestionably be playing on his mind.

This championship has hinged on reliability, but with both drivers having suffered two retirements, honors are even now, right?

Wrong. For Lewis, he has still be far unluckier than Nico, with his problems in qualifying at Hockenheim and the Hungaroring coming into play. Speaking to British TV after the race, Hamilton said that the score was still 5-2 to him in terms of hard luck. He wanted to make that perfectly clear.

And this is something that Nico also recognizes. In the cool-down room following the race at Monza, he spoke in Italian to his engineer about how Hamilton was “so damn lucky”. When he was told that he too would have his luck, Nico said: “No, I already had my dose of luck”. He thinks that he has missed his opportunities. Now that Lewis is back in the lead, Rosberg may have just cracked in the pressure of a championship battle.

The title fight is reset now, though. It’s a five-race championship – may the best man win. It will most probably go down to Abu Dhabi, given that a 50-point lead is a big ask for either driver, but the four races in the lead-up to that could be huge. Ultimately, both drivers know that a 15-point lead heading into Abu Dhabi – thus allowing them to finish second in the final race – would be good enough. Three wins in the next five races for either driver would be enough to make that happen.

Speaking to Sky before the race, Hamilton made a very interesting point. He said that if he were to retire from the race in Singapore, his championship would be over. However, if Nico fell foul of a problem, it wouldn’t matter so much.

Mathematically, Lewis is right. In the psychological battle for the championship though, it has swung everything right back in Lewis’ favor. If Nico doesn’t recover in Suzuka, it could become Hamilton’s title to lose.

Either way, you’re watching one of the greatest title fights in the history of this great sport. Savor it.

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.