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McLaren confirms BP Castrol as new technical partner for 2017 F1 season

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McLaren has confirmed that BP Castrol will be its official fuel and lubricant supplier from the 2017 Formula 1 season, taking over from ExxonMobil.

McLaren’s long-running partnership with ExxonMobil came to an end in 2016, with the American company jumping ship to supply Red Bull with its fuel and lubricants.

BP confirmed it would be returning to F1 for 2017 last month when it signed an agreement with Renault, and has now also joined forces with McLaren for the forthcoming season.

“McLaren is pleased to confirm it has joined forces with BP and Castrol for the provision of Formula 1 fuels and lubricant technology as well as the supply of products for McLaren Automotive, the renowned British manufacturer of luxury sports and supercars,” a statement from McLaren reads.

“BP is already working with McLaren Applied Technologies, the fast-growing technology arm of the McLaren Technology Group that works to improve lives and solve crucial business performance challenges.

“In the fierce proving ground of Formula 1, BP is supplying a range of performance lubricants for Honda’s Internal Combustion Engine (ICE). The team will also benefit from Castrol’s high-performance lubricants and greases that will be used in the team’s Mazak-powered machine shop and dynamic chassis rig.”

“This agreement between McLaren, BP and Castrol is between brands who both share a long-standing and well-recognised passion for innovation in all we do,” McLaren chief operating officer Jonathan Neale said.

“Our McLaren-Honda team provides a global platform for Castrol to supply bespoke advanced lubricant technology.”

McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt added: “The partnership between McLaren Automotive and Castrol is an important step in our journey to deliver the highest levels of performance and efficiency from the engines in our Sports and Super car ranges.

“Not only will the lubricants provided by Castrol play a wide-ranging role in delivering the efficiencies across our existing cars, but our future engine generations as well.”

McLaren will unveil its new F1 car, the MCL32, on February 24.

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.