Marko: Life goes on at Red Bull following Vettel’s departure


Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has said that Sebastian Vettel’s split from the team has been an amicable one as the four-time world champion looks for new motivation with Ferrari in 2015.

In a surprise announcement on Saturday morning at Suzuka, Red Bull confirmed that Vettel will be leaving the team at the end of the season, with Christian Horner saying that he will be racing for Ferrari next year despite there being no official announcement.

Red Bull has been central to Vettel’s career and success, with the German driver first enjoying ties with the brand back in 1999. He has claimed all of his 39 grand prix victories with a Red Bull-backed team, not to mention his four F1 world titles between 2010 and 2013.

However, Vettel is now looking for a new challenge with Ferrari, and Marko is not looking to dwell on the matter.

“I’m not sad because we had a fantastic time, we had some fantastic success,” he said. “We discussed it. He’s looking for new motivation for new challenges so life goes on.

“And it was no problem, we decided immediately to take [Daniil] Kvyat and hope to repeat the story with another junior from us.”

After just one season in F1, Kvyat has the opportunity of a lifetime with Red Bull in 2015, where he will race alongside Daniel Ricciardo.

The news came as a surprise to much of the F1 paddock, with the first inklings of unrest at Red Bull only coming in the last few weeks. Marko confirmed that the calls were taken by the driver and the team over the past few days, with Vettel informing Red Bull of his final decision last night.

“In the last couple of days the whole thing happened,” Marko said. “But we split it amicably, you know. There’s no bad feeling either on our side or on his side.”

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.