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Sauber asks for cost control, simpler F1 rules in “not-so-serious” letter to Santa


Sauber has continued its call for change in Formula 1 by posting what it has dubbed a ‘not-so-serious’ letter to Santa on its website.

After facing great financial uncertainty over the past couple of years, Sauber has been one of the teams leading the push for a more even distribution of prize money in F1 and a greater say in the future of the series.

So just as millions of children all over the world will have sent their letters to Santa asking for presents, Sauber did the same on Christmas Eve – albeit with a few requests that the big man is unlikely to have received from many others.

In the letter, Sauber asks for a budget cap, a fairer share of prize money, an overhaul of the rules to make them simpler to understand, and a greater onus placed on fan views in the sport.

Here’s the letter in full.

Dear Santa

Merry Christmas! You and the elves must be very busy at this time fulfilling millions of wishes, and we hope someone is also taking care of yours.

We are not entirely sure whether you have TV or Internet access at the North Pole, but anyway you might know about Formula One, the pinnacle of motorsport… or, at least, that’s what it’s been for decades.

Nowadays, money is the dominant force that drives performance and, therefore, success for a team. We believe it should rather be creativity, talent and dedication by the employees, rather than money.

Your elves create the nicest gifts based on their creativity and talent, right? Do you budget for toys? How do you distribute this between the elves? Do you favour some elves over others?

We, at the Sauber F1 team, stand for a fair distribution of revenues by Formula One Management (FOM), which in turn improves the baseline for many teams.

For our Christmas wishes to come true, we do not need the hard work
of your elves… we need your supernatural powers! If you have some time, we would be extremely happy if you could have a look at our wish list:

1. Budget cap and fair distribution of FOM money: this will ensure that many F1 teams are more competitive, which will bring more excitement into the sport. That is what the Formula One fans want.

2. Simplified rules: currently the rules are too complex and difficult to understand (not so much for us, but for the fans).

3. Listening more to the wishes of the fans: This is important for our fans; they are important to us and, in the end, Formula One is worth nothing without them.

Sauber F1 Team

PS. If any of the other F1 teams wish for the opposite, shred their letters!

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.