© Getty Images

Rosberg downbeat despite gaining on Hamilton in Singapore

Leave a comment

Nico Rosberg may have cut 12 points out of Lewis Hamilton’s lead at the top of the Formula 1 drivers’ championship in Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix, but the German driver was more concerned by Mercedes’ lack of pace at Marina Bay.

Throughout practice and qualifying in Singapore, Mercedes failed to challenge Ferrari and Red Bull for pace at the front of the field, leaving Hamilton and Rosberg fifth and sixth for the start of the race on Sunday.

Hamilton was forced to retire after 32 laps thanks to an issue on his power unit, giving Rosberg the chance to capitalize and carve into his 53-point lead in the championship.

Mercedes had hoped to make up for its lack of pace by putting Rosberg on an alternative strategy to the front-runners, but the German was forced to follow their lead by making an early second pit stop under a safety car caused by an intruder on the track.

Speaking after the race, Rosberg said that he hoped Mercedes’ struggles were a one-off and not a sign of things to come for the remainder of the season.

“Singapore was a disappointing weekend for my team,” Rosberg said. “We were far off the pace the whole weekend and Lewis’ car had to retire.

“I really hope that these were unique circumstances and our car didn’t suit the track and conditions. The problem is that we don’t really understand why Red Bull and Ferrari were so much quicker here.

“The start of the race was a bit chaotic. In the installation laps my engine went off a few times, so I couldn’t do the same start procedure, which I practised 100 times. I had to adapt but it worked out okay, so I was able to keep the positions.

“P4 was the maximum today, so we have a lot of work to do for Suzuka to understand what went wrong.”

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.