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Williams’ points streak continues after Massa fightback

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Williams’ record of scoring points with both its cars at every race so far in the 2016 Formula 1 season continued in Spain as Felipe Massa battled his way from 18th on the grid to join teammate Valtteri Bottas in the top 10.

Bottas had led Williams’ charge in qualifying by finishing seventh, and endured a somewhat lonely race en route to P5 after the two Mercedes drivers crashed out at the first corner.

“I think we got the maximum today and I’m pleased to get decent points,” Bottas said after the race.

“We know our car wasn’t quick enough this weekend, but we had a good result, so that’s positive. Of course we would like to battle for the podiums and wins, but it wasn’t possible this weekend.

“We need to keep pushing on the development and we need more pace on these type of tracks. We knew that if something happened we could gain a couple of places, otherwise it was always going to be tricky, but this is racing.

“A lot of things can happen and this time we took a small advantage from it.”

Massa’s race was more eventful. After taking an early pit stop on lap eight, the Brazilian made a three-stop strategy work – unlike Daniel Ricciardo or Sebastian Vettel – to make up 10 places and cross the line P8.

“It was definitely a very good race for us with some good points, finishing eighth positon from starting 18th,” Massa said.

“It was a difficult race, and not on our best track to finish in the points, so I’m happy. I know we’ve lost points compared to Red Bull, but that’s the way it is.

“Looking forward to Monaco, I hope we can show that we have a better car for that type of track, as we have struggled there over the last two years. Monaco is Monaco though and anything can happen.”

Massa took a moment to congratulate Max Verstappen, who became the youngest race winner in F1 history in his first race for Red Bull.

“I am really happy for Max,” Massa said.

“I know what it means to win for the first time, and he is only 18-years-old at a top team.”

With Nico Rosberg’s retirement, Massa and Bottas are now the only drivers to have scored points in every race so far this season.

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.