© Getty Images

Fernando Alonso passes final medical check in China

Leave a comment

Fernando Alonso will take full part in this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix after passing a fitness test following practice in Shanghai on Friday morning.

Alonso was forced to miss the Bahrain Grand Prix two weeks ago after being deemed unfit by the FIA doctors following a sizeable shunt at the season opener in Australia.

The Spaniard sustained a fractured rib and a small lung collapse in the accident, but arrived in China this weekend saying he felt “physically 100%” and ready to race.

The stewards in China provisionally permitted him to race on the condition that he underwent a further fitness test after the first practice session on Friday morning.

Alonso emerged from the medical centre soon after practice with a smile and gave a thumbs up to the onlooking media, with confirmation of his fitness soon following from the FIA.

“As a result of the medical examination undertaken following Free Practice One, the FIA F1 Medical Delegate Prof. Jean-Charles Piette, and the Chief Medical Officer of the Chiense Grand Prix, Prof. Shiyi Chen, have ruled that Fernando Alonso is fit to take part in all remaining sessions this weekend,” a statement read.

“However, as with this morning’s session, in case of any abnormal symptoms the driver has been informed that he must stop his car immediately.

“As the drier has been cleared to take part, no further medical checks will be undertaken unless the driver presents any abnormal symptom or incident.”

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.