Verstappen joins sim racing team to complement F1 duties

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Max Verstappen has joined a leading sim racing team in a role that he will combine with his duties in Formula 1 with Scuderia Toro Rosso.

Team Redline confirmed earlier this week that Verstappen, 17, has become the latest driver to join its roster for the 2015 season.

Since being founded in 2000, Team Redline has established itself as one of the leading sim racing teams across a variety of simulations including iRacing, rFactor and Gran Turismo 6.

“I enjoy sim racing outside of Formula 1,” Verstappen said in a statement. “I’ve been working with Atze [Kerkhof, team manager] for a while already.

“Of course with Team Redline and Fanatec I’ll be sharing the virtual track with the fastest sim racers in the world which is a great test and the way I like it!”

“I’m happy and honoured to have Max onboard at Team Redline,” Kerkhof said. “[I’m] looking forward to continue our sim battles like we did in the F3 last year.”

Verstappen joins a number of other racing drivers at Team Redline, including Richie Stanaway (GP2, WEC), Kevin van der Linde (Blancpain GT) and Nick Catsburg (Blancpain GT).

On the real life race track, Verstappen continues to make waves during his debut F1 season, finishing fourth at the Hungarian Grand Prix last time out to record Toro Rosso’s best result since the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix.

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.