From GP3 to F1, it’s been quite a year for Daniil Kvyat

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It’s been an incredible 12 months for Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat. The 20-year-old Russian has gone from racing in GP3, generally regarded as the third tier on the ladder to F1, to securing a drive with Red Bull Racing, the team that had won the last four world championships until 2014.

Kvyat’s debut season in F1 has been an impressive one, even if it hasn’t yielded a huge number of points. His performances have been good enough to secure him a drive at Red Bull for 2015 after Sebastian Vettel exercised his option to walk away from the team at the end of the season.

In fact, it was only at last year’s United States Grand Prix that Kvyat first took part in an F1 weekend session, running in FP1 for Toro Rosso in Austin. So how have things changed for him?

“It’s only one year since my debut here,” Kvyat said on Thursday in Austin. “It seems like not such a long period but many things have happened. Everything is happening fast, but I think it’s better than it happening slow.

“F1 teaches you everything in the fast and hard way. After a lot of races this year, I think I did mature in some way.”

Kvyat feels that, as with any racing series, he has been learning right the way through his debut Formula 1 season.

“Of course, in any category you have something to learn – in F1 as well,” he said. “In every category things like tires, fuel consumption, just driving the car more on the limit because it’s a different car.

“The same happened for me in F1. I just had to come here and learn all the details of this championship and do my best job. It’s looking quite okay.”

The Circuit of the Americas is a favorite track for many drivers, and Kvyat also likes the layout in Austin despite the immense challenge being posed.

“It’s cool. The first section is very flowing, very interesting, lots of high-speed corners,” he said. “Then there is a bit more of a twisty last sector where you have to be careful and not good too hard on everything.

“It’s very easy to overdrive. It’s an interesting track with an interesting layout. I enjoyed driving here last year and I will this year as well.”

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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.