Raikkonen happy with fourth in light of Mercedes’ pace

2 Comments

Kimi Raikkonen was satisfied with fourth place in today’s Chinese Grand Prix, believing that following home the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in first and second place was the best that Ferrari could manage this weekend.

Raikkonen started the race in sixth, but made a good start to pass both of the Williams drivers on the first lap and rise up into fourth place.

The Finn could not catch Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel in third place, as his late charge was ended by a safety car period with three laps remaining in the race. However, Raikkonen was still pleased with the result.

“Considering that my position on the starting grid today was not ideal, fourth place is a good result,” Raikkonen said. “The car was quite good today; the first set of tires was a bit tricky, but I think it was the same for everybody, and then the next two sets were okay.

“Towards the end of the race I was catching up, I knew I had the speed and I thought I still had good tires. I could still have had a chance to try and fight for podium but the safety car came in and we know we cannot change that.”

Raikkonen called on Ferrari to continue its development of the SF15-T car and try to cut the gap to Mercedes at the front, and believes that it is simply a matter of time before he is back fighting at the very front of the field.

“Today we got close to the podium,” Raikkonen said. “From the next race on we have to have a better weekend, doing everything right in qualifying, and we’ll do our best.

“As a team we scored the maximum today. We know we are behind Mercedes, but we have to be happy with the result.

“From tomorrow on we have to make another step to be able to challenge them every weekend; we’ll keep working hard as we have done since last year. We trust the way the team is working: now we have to be patient.”

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Leave a 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.