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Glass half-full for Rosberg despite seeing championship lead slashed

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Nico Rosberg is choosing to look on the bright side despite seeing his lead in the Formula 1 drivers’ championship fall to just a single point in the last five races.

Following the Spanish Grand Prix in May, Rosberg enjoyed a 43-point advantage over Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton after taking victories in Australia, Bahrain, China and Russia.

However, Hamilton has since rallied since, winning four of the last five races to whittle Rosberg’s lead down to one point ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Although his advantage has been slashed dramatically, Rosberg remains upbeat given that he still leads the championship after 10 races.

“The glass half-full version is that over 10 races I have scored more points,” Rosberg said after the British Grand Prix.

“I can live with that. But I don’t want to speak about points; I don’t focus or think on that.

“I’ve put [Silverstone] behind me. Lewis did a better job all weekend, and I’m already over it.”

Rosberg denied that he has changed his driving style or is doing anything different, instead attributing the points swing to his rivals’ improved luck.

“I benefitted from the others having a very, very messy start, my direct competitors,” Rosberg said.

“That’s changed.”

Hamilton endured a difficult start to the year, with a first-lap clash in Bahrain and engine issues in China and Russia giving Rosberg breathing room at the front of the field.

Although the Briton has since fought back, he is set to start from the back of the grid at least twice more this season thanks to engine penalties that are looming.

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.