Mercedes wins F1 constructors’ championship in Russia

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Mercedes has clinched its first ever Formula 1 constructors’ championship after Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg finished first and second in today’s Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.

The German marque has dominated the sport in 2014, winning thirteen of the sixteen races so far thanks to its superior power unit and car design following the change in the regulations for this season.

No team has come close to challenging the Silver Arrows in regular conditions, with Daniel Ricciardo claiming the remaining three wins for Red Bull at races where Mercedes has hit trouble.

Today in Sochi, the champagne corks could finally be popped as the one-two finish for Hamilton and Rosberg saw the team pull a further 33 points clear of nearest challengers Red Bull in the constructors’ championship. With just three races and 172 points remaining, this means that Mercedes cannot be caught.

Hamilton was quick to congratulate his team over the radio, calling it “history in the making”.

It marks Mercedes’ first ever constructors’ championship in Formula 1. When the German marque last dominated the sport back in the 1950s with Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss behind the wheel, the trophy was not awarded to the best team. It first came into existence in 1958, by which points Mercedes had withdrawn its works team. It would not return until 2010.

This victory marks the first year since 2009 that Red Bull has not won the constructors’ championship, marking the end of an era for the British team.

Mercedes needed just 25 points to make the championship safe, but Hamilton and Rosberg clinched it in style by finishing first and second, bringing home the maximum score of 43 points for the ninth time this season.

This victory will allow the drivers to turn their attention to the drivers’ championship, which took another swing in Hamilton’s favor after Rosberg was forced into making an early pit stop on Sunday. He fought hard to finish second behind Hamilton, but now trails by 17 points after four successive defeats.

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.