Hamilton: ‘Not been my weekend so far’ in Singapore

1 Comment

Lewis Hamilton admitted to a lack of rhythm after qualifying third for the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday night, over seven-tenths of a second slower than Mercedes teammate and Formula 1 title rival Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton arrived in Singapore leading the drivers’ championship by two points after seeing Rosberg win the last two races in Belgium and Italy.

The Briton suffered a hydraulic issue on Friday that limited his practice running, while an error in FP3 on Saturday afternoon meant he entered qualifying without a simulation under his belt.

Hamilton finished seven-tenths of a second behind Rosberg after his first run in Q3 to sit second on the provisional grid before failing to improve on his second effort.

Daniel Ricciardo was able to find a chunk of time in the final sector that lifted him onto the front row of the grid, leaving Hamilton third for the start in Singapore after he failed to improve.

“[It] wasn’t a frustrating session. Just not been my weekend so far,” Hamilton said after qualifying.

“Not really got many good laps out there, not been able to string them together.

“Nico did a great job, he showed the true potential of the car.

“Hopefully tomorrow I’ll try to get that one step up to get that front row for the team.”

Both Hamilton and Rosberg will need to remain wary of the Red Bull drivers in Sunday’s race after Ricciardo and teammate Max Verstappen (qualified fourth) got through Q2 on the super-soft tire.

While Mercedes may have the pace advantage on ultra-softs, the Red Bulls should be able to go further into the race before pitting by virtue of their alternate strategy.

The Singapore Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 7am ET on Sunday.

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
1 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.