© Getty Images

Lotus to race with #PrayForParis hashtag on cars in Brazil

Leave a comment

Lotus F1 Team has confirmed that it will race with the #PrayForParis hashtag on its car in the Brazilian Grand Prix following Friday’s terrorist attacks.

Paris was hit by six separate but co-ordinated attacks on Friday night that is known to have claimed the lives of 127 people, with a further 200 wounded.

The Formula 1 paddock joined the rest of the world in sending its support to Paris in the aftermath of the incident, with French driver Romain Grosjean wearing the tricolore on his arm in today’s qualifying session.

In a short statement issued by Lotus shortly before qualifying, the team confirmed that it would be paying its respects by running with #PrayForParis on its E23 Hybrid cars on Sunday.

“Lotus F1 Team would like to express its sadness following Friday’s tragic events in Paris,” the statement read. “The team’s thoughts are with everyone affected.

“For tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix the team will run with the hashtag #PrayForParis on the cars of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado.”

“My thoughts today are with everyone in affected by the events in Paris,” Grosjean said after the session. “I have lived in the city for many years and have so many friends there so I was particularly shocked and saddened by what has happened.”

The F1 paddock is also poised to hold a minute’s silence ahead of tomorrow’s race to pay its respects to those affected by the attacks in Paris, tying in with a planned road safety commemoration.

“We had already planned to do something tomorrow at the occasion of the day of celebrations for road victims,” FIA president Jean Todt told reporters in Brazil.

“Every day on our streets, 3,500 people die. Every day there are 30 times more people who die than in the Paris assassinations.

“We had decided a minute of silence and of course we can’t ignore what happened in Paris. We will thus have a moment of attention for what happened in Paris.”

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
1 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.