Raikkonen frustrated by poor qualifying form in 2015

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Kimi Raikkonen made no secret of his frustration after finishing Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix in sixth place, believing that the root of his problems lay in Ferrari’s qualifying form so far this year.

Raikkonen qualified in sixth place in Monaco, but with overtaking coming at a premium around the tight and twisting streets, the Finn was unable to make up any positions in the first stint of the race.

Although he did pass Daniel Ricciardo for fifth position in the first round of pit stops, Raikkonen dropped back down to P6 at the end of the race after the Australian barged his way past at Mirabeau.

“We knew that after starting from sixth position it would have been a difficult race,” Raikkonen said. “I was all the time behind slower cars and there was no way to overtake them even if I had a much better pace.

“At the the pit stop we managed to pass one Red Bull, we gained one place but we lost it for a stupid reason. I was following my normal line when Ricciardo hit my rear tire and pushed me wide, regaining the position. It’s not very clear what you are allowed to do, it’s really odd but there’s nothing we can do.”

Raikkonen believes that an improved performance in qualifying will be key to improving his fortunes in 2015, given that he has beaten teammate Sebastian Vettel just once in the opening six rounds of the year.

“For the next races we have to make a better job overall to make sure we get tires working and things sorted out without mistakes on Saturday in qualifying,” Raikkonen said. “This will make our life a lot easier on Sunday.

“Now we go to Canada a bit happier overall but it’s too early to make predictions, we have similar tires but the layout of the track is completely different, so let’s wait and see.”

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.