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FIA to police track limits electronically in Hungarian GP

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The FIA has confirmed it will police track limits during this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix using electronic devices in a bid to stop drivers gaining an advantage by going off-track.

Over the British Grand Prix weekend at Silverstone, a number of drivers had lap times in qualifying deleted for exceeding track limits, although questions were raised about the consistency of decisions.

The Hungaroring has undergone a number of changes ahead of this weekend’s race, including the installation of new curbs and a resurfacing of the tarmac.

In his pre-race notes to the teams, FIA race director Charlie Whiting confirmed that an electronic system would be used at Turns 4 and 11 to inform race control of drivers who put all four wheels off-track.

“In Turns 4 and 11 the new double curb has been installed and the artificial grass removed,” Whiting wrote.

“However, the run-off areas behind the curbs have been set at the same height as the kerbs themselves, the required deterrent is therefore not present.

“With this in mind we have installed loops 1.6m from the track edge which will alert us when a car has all four wheels off the track in these two locations.”

Whiting also informed teams that “the ‘sausage’ curbs on the apex of Turns 6 and 7 have been replaced by a 50 mm high steel ‘Abu Dhabi’ curb on the apex behind the 50mm positive curb”, while “a large number of kerbs have been renewed to a very high standard with great emphasis on improved drainage”.

The Hungarian Grand Prix is live across the NBC Sports Group this weekend. For more information on broadcast times, click here.

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.