Hamilton: 0.3 PSI gave Mercedes no advantage


Lewis Hamilton downplayed Mercedes’ possible technical infringement in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix, believing that the misdemeanor offered the team no advantage during the race.

Hamilton stormed to his seventh win of the season at Monza by 25 seconds, but the champagne remains on ice after the FIA stewards found that the pressure on his left-rear tire was 0.3 PSI below the minimum requirement.

In a statement issued by the stewards after the race, technical delegate Jo Bauer referred both Hamilton and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg to the stewards after finding that both of their cars were running their tire pressures too low.

Speaking to NBCSN after the race, Hamilton explained how the 0.3 PSI advantage would have meant next to nothing in terms of pace and would have offered no real benefit in the race.

“Yeah I don’t feel like celebrating right now,” Hamilton admitted. “I feel quite peaceful with myself either way. I did myself proud today, I think the team did themselves proud, and what we’ve achieved together as a team, no negative result can really affect that.

“Whilst it won’t be great if we were to lose those points today, 0.3 of a PSI on one left rear tire literally means nothing. It has hardly any effect. It might give you one corner more.

“It honestly makes no real difference. We didn’t get an advantage, that’s for sure.”

In a bid to raise the pressure on his tires in the closing stages of the race, Mercedes told Hamilton – already 20 seconds ahead of second-placed Sebastian Vettel – to push hard and put in some fast lap times.

“It didn’t feel great at the end because I’m thinking I’m ahead now I’ve just got to be sensible and bring the car home and look after the engine,” Hamilton explained. “And then everything changes and you have to start pushing. I’m thinking what could possibly be wrong that the guys would ask me in the last seven laps to push this much.

“I’m just doing what they said, I’m following orders, I’m going for it, kind of qualifying laps but not so much qualifying laps. At that point my tires have lost the best of their life so the car is sliding around more.

“I trust the team 1000% so I listen. But afterwards I’m like ‘guys what happened?’ It was like I was juggling and I was comfortable with three balls, but then you threw in another four balls and I didn’t really know what to do.”

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.