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Marko: New F1 engine regulations ‘a step in the right direction’

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Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko believes the new Formula 1 engine regulations are a “step in the right direction” for 2017.

Teams agreed last week on a drive to reduce the cost of supplying engines in F1 as well as removing the current ‘token’ system in a bid to foster performance convergence.

The new regulations were supported by Red Bull, who faced an engine supply crisis at the end of 2015 before eventually striking a deal to rebrand its Renault power units.

“It is at least a step in the right direction,” Marko told the official F1 website.

“But as always, the devil is in the detail. The price from where the reduction should be applied was not fixed. We have variations in engines from 16 million euros up to 28 million. That is one issue.

“Then it is still wide open on how the convergence is going to work: if we really can stay within these three-tenths of a second that’s been calculated then we are okay – but there seems to be no guarantee on that.

“Another issue is, of course, that we have to be supplied with an engine – no matter what else happens – as the independent engine is now definitely off the table.”

When asked if he sympathized with defending champion team Mercedes following its opposition to the moves, Marko said: “Not at all.

“Because it was all about not losing any advantage. Now all the teams again have the chance to close the gap.

“Of course we are probably the biggest beneficiary, as in the past when new regulations came in we’ve always been ahead.”

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.