De Silvestro learns plenty en route to 11th place on Formula E debut


LONDON – Andretti’s Simona de Silvestro may only have finished 11th in her debut FIA Formula E race on Saturday, but the Swiss driver felt that she learned plenty in her first run with the series’ car at Battersea Park.

The IndyCar driver was confirmed to be racing at the double-header London ePrix two weeks ago, and got her first taste of the Formula E car on Saturday during practice.

After qualifying 17th, de Silvestro managed to fight her way up to 11th at the end of the race, narrowly missing out on a points finish.

“It was okay,” de Silvestro told MotorSportsTalk. “It was an interesting race. For sure, you know 11th is okay. It’s not something to be happy about, but the biggest thing [is] going through the race, you understand everything and that’s really the key to it.

“Our race pace was okay, but we have to start more up front and really focus on that tomorrow.”

De Silvestro explained how it was quite tough to get to grips with the Formula E car, but is keen to return to the track tomorrow with that experience under her belt.

“It’s actually pretty tough to be honest,” she said when asked by MST about the challenge of adapting to the car. “The brakes are quite different to any car I’ve ever driven, and that’s the biggest challenge I’ve had today.

“Throughout the race I learned a little bit more how to push them and how to push the car. The biggest thing is that it’s so different, and having such little practice, understanding everything is quite tough when you’re racing against people who’ve been doing it for a whole year.

“But yeah, it’s okay. It’ll be good to sleep over it and come back tomorrow.”

The final race of the inaugural FIA Formula E season takes place in London on Sunday at 4pm local time.

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.