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Grosjean boosted by Lotus’ recent strength and spirit

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Romain Grosjean has been boosted by the strength and spirit that Lotus F1 Team has shown recently amid financial uncertainty.

Lotus is currently in talks with Renault about a possible buy-out for the 2016 season, but has faced legal action and a hold-up in sponsorship payments in the meantime that have raised questions about its short-term future.

Team CEO Matthew Carter has vowed that it will complete the season, whilst deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi issued a “come and get us” call to Renault earlier this week.

Grosjean praised the team for its strength of character and spirit shown over the course of last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix as both he and teammate Pastor Maldonado retired early on.

“Once again we all saw what a tremendously strong and resourceful squad Lotus F1 Team is as everyone rallied round and overcame the difficulties put in our path,” Grosjean said.

“Everyone worked really hard. We started in the top ten but then another driver’s optimism at the first corner of all places meant the rear suspension of my car was damaged.

“That was it, race over. I was pretty gutted, but we carry on and Singapore’s our next opportunity for points.”

Due to the financial uncertainty at Enstone, Lotus is currently unable to apply any notable updates to its E23 Hybrid car, but Grosjean is still hopeful of a top ten finish in Singapore next weekend.

“Even though we haven’t been able to throw upgrades at the car like other teams can do, the E23 is a pretty balanced car in its qualities,” Grosjean said.

“It seems to go well everywhere. This means we go in with the opportunity of scoring points at tracks with very different characteristics.

“Every time I get in the car I think ‘let’s see what she can do’, so I’m positive heading to Singapore, Suzuka and all the rest of the circuits ahead.”

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.