Dennis: McLaren set for livery change during 2015

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McLaren CEO Ron Dennis has confirmed that the team will be making a change to its livery at some point across the course of the 2015 F1 season, but he refused to confirm whether it would be before the first race of the year in Australia.

Earlier this week, the British team unveiled its new-look car for 2015, the MP4-30, featuring a chrome, black and red livery. It is the first McLaren to be powered by Honda since 1992.

However, it was noticeably bare of sponsors once again, with the team not signing a new title sponsorship deal since the end of its deal with Vodafone in December 2013.

Speaking to the media in Jerez on the first day of pre-season testing, Dennis confirmed that there would be a change in the car’s livery at some point in 2015.

“Our 2015 livery will change, but I’m not going to say when,” he said.

McLaren famously ran in red and white colors when it last teamed up with Honda in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but this was due to sponsorship from tobacco brand Marlboro. Nevertheless, a possible throwback to such a livery could be possible if the same colors are used in a different design.

Whether the change in color will be made due to the signing of a new title sponsor or simply out of choice remains to be seen. However, Dennis did allude in the same media session that due to F1’s spiralling costs, having a big name brand as a lead sponsor is an outdated concept, suggesting that this will not be the motivation for any change.

McLaren’s first day of testing was a quiet one, with Fernando Alonso completing just six laps for the team in the new MP4-30.

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.