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Kvyat keen to make up for last year’s disappointing Russian GP

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After enduring a disappointing maiden home Formula 1 race in 2014, Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat hopes that he can make up for it when the paddock returns to Russia next weekend.

Kvyat delighted the home fans in Sochi during last year’s qualifying session, storming to fifth place on the grid in his Toro Rosso.

However, the race proved to be a complete contrast as an issue on his car blighted his hopes of points on home soil, leaving him 14th and a lap down at the checkered flag.

Looking ahead to his home race, Kvyat hopes that he can make up for this disappointment by giving the local fans something to cheer for next weekend.

“Yeah, qualifying was great but the race was just… how can I say this… well, it was crap,” Kvyat said.

“We had problems with fuel consumption during the race and it was just a really disappointing day. I’m hoping we will be able to give the fans there something more to cheer about this year.

Kvyat is bracing himself for a busy weekend of media commitments and appearances as the only Russian driver on the grid, but reckons that the added pressure and attention gives him a boost.

“Sometimes you do get some strong attention but that’s part of the game and what you have to take from it is that the attention comes from the fact that perhaps you have been doing something good, which is a positive,” Kvyat said.

“You have to understand that the fans are coming out to support you and that is something quite special – I’m happy to have the attention, it gives you a bit of a lift.

“It’s my home race and I enjoy it a lot. The atmosphere last year was fantastic, there were so many fans giving me support. It really feels awesome to be there.”

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.