McLaren sets Thursday presser, may finally reveal 2015 drivers

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The wait is almost over. Maybe.

McLaren’s long-awaited reveal of its 2015 driver lineup may be coming very soon. Multiple reports this morning are stating that the team has invited members of the press to an “important and exclusive media event” on Thursday at the team’s headquarters in Woking, England.

It’s been a long, drawn-out process for McLaren in trying to cement its 2015 lineup. Leading up to the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last month, the team said it would not make a final decision until at least Dec. 1.

But the delay has gone even further. A board meeting last Thursday failed to produce a lineup, and with its two current drivers, ex-World Champion Jenson Button and young Kevin Magnussen, having been in career limbo for some time now, the team’s taken a noticeable amount of criticism from fans and the media.

Adding to the matter is the expected return of Fernando Alonso, who competed for McLaren in 2007 and recently completed a five-year run at Ferrari.

“It’s a strange situation, but sometimes in life you find yourself in these difficult situations and you just have to deal with it,” Button said at last weekend’s Autosport Awards in London.

Should Button not get the nod, a future in the World Endurance Championship may be the next step for him after a 15-year career in the Grand Prix circuit that has seen him earn 15 wins, 50 podiums, and the 2009 title.

Meanwhile, Magnussen is coming off an 11th-place finish in the standings after his first season in F1. That said, at 22, he still has a lot to learn and may be better suited to contribute to the long-term future of McLaren.

Hopefully, we won’t have much longer before we finally know who will be suiting up for the team next season.

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.