Lotus and Sauber confirm line-ups for final test

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Lotus and Sauber have confirmed their line-ups for the final F1 pre-season test which starts on Thursday in Barcelona.

Both teams have enjoyed successful testing programmes so far this winter, with Lotus topping three of the four days in the second test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

As the start of the season draws near, the British team has elected to not give reserve driver Jolyon Palmer any further time in the E23 Hybrid, meaning that full-time drivers Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean will split the running evenly.

Grosjean will get the first crack of the whip with the car in the final test, running in the first and third days. Maldonado’s initial run will come on day two before he closes out pre-season testing for the team.

Sauber will also split its days evenly between its drivers as it looks to continue its solid start to the year. Marcus Ericsson is set to test the car on days one and three, with Felipe Nasr taking the reins of the C34 for the second and fourth days.

Lotus F1 Team – Pre-Season Test 3 Line-Up 

Day 1: Romain Grosjean
Day 2: Pastor Maldonado
Day 3: Romain Grosjean
Day 4: Pastor Maldonado

Sauber F1 Team – Pre-Season Test 3 Line-Up

Day 1: Marcus Ericsson
Day 2: Felipe Nasr
Day 3: Marcus Ericsson
Day 4: Felipe Nasr

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.