Massa pleased to see Felipe Nasr on 2015 F1 grid

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Felipe Massa has said that he is happy to see fellow Brazilian and newly-appointed Sauber driver Felipe Nasr get a drive for the 2015 Formula 1 season.

In a move from left-field, Sauber confirmed on Wednesday that it had signed Nasr alongside Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson for the 2015 season, replacing the current line-up of Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez.

Nasr becomes the second Brazilian driver in the field after Massa, who said he was pleased by the news during the FIA press conference on Thursday at Interlagos.

“I’m happy for him,” Massa said. “I think for Brazil it’s great to have another Brazilian driver racing. I’m quite close to him, we’ve worked together the whole season inside the team.

“He’s in GP2, maybe his third season in GP2 so it’s his time, his opportunity to go to Formula 1, otherwise it starts to be a little bit more difficult after that so I’m happy that he had his opportunity, his chance and I hope the best for him.

“I hope the best for him and I hope that we can bring our Brazilian flag on the top now with two drivers, not just one.”

Nasr joins Sauber at a time when the team is struggling financially, but could yet face more problems as Adrian Sutil is known to have a firm contract for next season that would have to be compensated for.

Massa appreciated that it is a difficult time for Sauber, but hopes Nasr can be given a real chance to show what he can do in F1.

“Definitely, it’s not a great moment for Sauber,” Massa said. “I don’t know exactly how it’s going to be next year, his team, I don’t know which car and how competitive they can be, seeing that they are suffering a little bit of crisis and crisis is not good for everything you’re doing.

“But anyway, I hope the best for him and I hope he can have a good start and a good experience and being in Formula 1 for a long time, not just for a few years.”

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.