Ecclestone: Decision on German GP due this weekend

1 Comment

Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone remains uncertain whether or not the 2015 German Grand Prix will go ahead as planned, but has set a deadline for a decision on the event this weekend.

The race had been due to take place at the Nurburgring on July 19, only for Ecclestone to confirm on January 15 that it would instead be held at Hockenheim for the second year in a row.

Hockenheim and the Nurburgring have alternated hosting the German Grand Prix since 2008 to ensure that neither circuit makes a loss for two years in succession.

Despite Ecclestone saying that F1 could simply remove the cash-strapped Nurburgring from the contract, officials at Hockenheim were less enthusiastic about the move, claiming that no deal had been agreed.

With the race in jeopardy, a number of figures including 2014 drivers’ championship runner-up Nico Rosberg expressed their dismay at the possible collapse of one of the sport’s most important rounds.

Speaking to DPA news agency in Germany, Ecclestone has now said that a final decision about the race will be made this weekend.

“Certainly by this weekend,” Ecclestone said. “[I’m] not sure it’s going to happen.”

The possible absence of the German Grand Prix is a puzzling one given the nation’s recent success in F1. Sebastian Vettel’s run of four world titles and the domination of German marque Mercedes still wasn’t enough to garner a crowd of more than 52,000 fans in 2014 – 43,000 short of Hockenheim’s capacity.

2015 is currently set to equal the record for the most number of races in a season, with 20 scheduled following the addition of the Mexican Grand Prix to the calendar.

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
1 Comment

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.