Wolff enjoys final practice run-out of 2015 season

Leave a comment

Susie Wolff enjoyed her final practice run-out of the 2015 Formula 1 season at Silverstone on Friday, finishing eight-tenths of a second behind regular Williams driver Felipe Massa.

Wolff became the first woman in 22 years to take part in a grand prix weekend session at last year’s British Grand Prix, and did enough across the course of the 2014 season to earn a promotion to test driver at Williams for 2015.

As part of this role, Wolff took part in pre-season testing in Barcelona, practice for the Spanish Grand Prix, in-season testing in Austria and, finally, practice at Silverstone on Friday.

“It was great to be back in the car especially at Silverstone,” Wolff said. “It’s not easy to jump into the car after such a long time, so to be within eight tenths off Felipe isn’t bad.

“I left a bit on the table but completed my programme. The team did a great job to get me ready and fully prepared so I am grateful to them for that.”

Wolff has already made clear that she is yet to discuss any plans for 2016 with Williams, but is unlikely to be in the frame for a race seat even if Valtteri Bottas departs to Ferrari.

However, an idea proposed at the F1 Strategy Group meeting earlier this week was for a sprint race to take place in the race weekend that saw third drivers fight to qualify for the grand prix.

If this were to be implemented, Wolff may yet be able to become the first woman to start a grand prix since Lella Lombardi back in 1976.

For the time being though, Wolff will need to wait and see what the future holds at Williams.

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.