Off The Grid: Austria preview (premieres 10/21 on NBCSN)

Leave a comment

This weekend marks the NBC Sports Group’s biggest weekend of F1 TV coverage this season, with all sessions on TV from Circuit of The Americas in Austin for the weekend’s United States Grand Prix. Race coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, on NBC.

However, not to be overlooked and also a big part of the weekend is the latest edition of Off the Grid.

Off the Grid: Austria premieres on Friday, Oct. 21 at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN following the conclusion of live Practice 1 from Austin.

NBCSN’s Will Buxton and Jason Swales took some time over the Austrian Grand Prix weekend back in July to go behind the scenes of the race and lift the lid on life inside the F1 paddock.

In this episode, OTG’s pair goes on a Red Bull Racing-themed journey through Austria behind the wheel of a 2016 Aston Martin Vanquish, to help highlight the partnership between those two companies.

There’s a visit to Hangar 7, Red Bull’s famed home to historic race cars and aircraft where Jason is lucky enough to snag a ride on Red Bull’s DC-6 plane.

Additional interviews follow as Will speaks to Niki Lauda, and then enjoys a laugh and a lot of insight in an extended chat with Red Bull Racing drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.

Off The Grid: Austria premieres on NBCSN at 12:30 pm ET on Friday, October 21, following FP1 for the United States Grand Prix. Re-airs are scheduled for Friday, October 28, at 2:30 p.m. ET and Saturday, October 29, at 1:30 p.m. ET – both on NBCSN.

Check out a full preview of the episode in the above video.

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Leave a 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.