Starting grid for the 2015 Spanish Grand Prix

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MONTMELO – Nico Rosberg put an end to a rotten run of form at the start of the 2015 Formula 1 season on Saturday by claiming his first pole position of the year for the Spanish Grand Prix.

For the first time in 2015, defending world champion Lewis Hamilton was second best as he lost his perfect qualifying record as Rosberg posted two lap times that were good enough for pole.

The intra-team fight at Mercedes has been very one-sided ever since the two drivers clashed on-track at last year’s Belgian Grand Prix. In the eleven races that have followed since then, Rosberg has beaten Hamilton just once, and his 2015 record reads 0-4. Winning in Spain today could be the catalyst in turning his season around.

Ferrari was unable to put up much of a fight to the Mercedes drivers in qualifying despite bringing a raft of updates for the SF15-T car to Barcelona. Sebastian Vettel will lead its charge from third place on the grid, whilst Kimi Raikkonen starts from seventh.

The biggest surprise of qualifying came from Toro Rosso rookies Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen, who will start today’s race from fifth and sixth place on the grid. Williams’ Valtteri Bottas had doubts about their race pace, but will need to keep an eye on his mirrors when starting from fourth place.

You can read a complete report of qualifying here.

FROM THE STEWARDS’ OFFICE

  • Nico Rosberg was handed a reprimand on Friday for incorrectly entering the pit lane during practice.
  • Sergio Perez, Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas have all been fined for speeding in the pit lane across the course of the race weekend.

STARTING GRID FOR THE 2015 SPANISH GRAND PRIX

1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
3. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
4. Valtteri Bottas Williams
5. Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso
6. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso
7. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
8. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull
9. Felipe Massa Williams
10. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
11. Romain Grosjean Lotus
12. Pastor Maldonado Lotus
13. Fernando Alonso McLaren
14. Jenson Button McLaren
15. Felipe Nasr Sauber
16. Marcus Ericsson Sauber
17. Nico Hulkenberg Force India
18. Sergio Perez Force India
19. Will Stevens Manor
20. Roberto Merhi Manor

The Spanish Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday.

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.