Rossi focused on GP2 performances in bid for 2016 F1 seat

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Alexander Rossi remains focused on his performances in the GP2 Series in 2015 as he bids to secure a seat on next season’s Formula 1 grid.

Rossi came close to making his full F1 debut last year with Marussia F1 Team, but failed to get a start before the team’s collapse in the wake of the Russian Grand Prix.

The American driver returned to GP2 for 2015 with Racing Engineering, and has already scored more points this season than in his previous two campaigns combined to rank third in the drivers’ standings.

The arrival of Haas F1 Team on the grid for the 2016 F1 season has led to Rossi being tipped to fill one of its two seats.

However, the 23-year-old is simply focusing on his own performances in a bid to secure whatever opportunity may come his way.

“My goal has always been to drive in F1,” Rossi said. “It hasn’t been a dream with a specific team, it has been to get on the race grid and to prove myself that I deserve to be in the championship.

“Obviously any opportunity that comes my way that allows me that opportunity is one that I’ll welcome with open arms.”

Rossi has spoken with Haas about a possible role with the team in the past, but confirmed that there has been no contact of late, nor does he expect the American team to make a decision until the latter stages of the season.

“Nothing’s changed,” he said. “Haas, as most F1 teams are concerned, they look at their driver line-up towards the end of the year, so we’re not quite there yet.

“I’m trying to do what I can in GP2 for the second half of the season.”

Should Rossi secure a full-time role in F1 in the future, he would become the first American driver to make a race start since Scott Speed back in 2007.

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.