Williams co-founder Patrick Head awarded knighthood

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Williams Martini Racing co-founder Patrick Head has been awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II.

Head was instrumental in the establishment of Williams Grand Prix Engineering alongside Frank Williams back in the 1970s, acting as the team’s first technical director.

Remaining in the role until 2004, Head won nine constructors’ championships with Williams and oversaw one of the most dominant eras in F1 history alongside his understudy, Adrian Newey, in the 1990s.

The team’s heyday came under the joint leadership of Williams and Head as drivers such as Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve drove for the team.

As part of the Queen’s birthday honors, Head was recognized for his services to motorsport and given a knighthood, making him Sir Patrick Head.

“My name may be above the door, but I have always stressed that the creation and subsequent success of Williams was very much a team effort,” Sir Frank Williams said.

“My co-founder Patrick Head was the design genius who turned us from a small upstart into a world championship winning force.

“His engineering talent helped play a key role in establishing Great Britain as a leading force in global motorsport and the benefits of this are still being felt to this day, both culturally and economically. This award is thoroughly deserved for his contribution to British engineering and motorsport.”

After stepping down as technical director, Head acted as the team’s engineering director before resigning from the Williams board of directors at the end of 2011.

However, he still remains a highly influential and well-respected figure in F1 circles, and this knighthood only furthers his legacy.

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.