Getty Images

Nico Rosberg returns to visit testing, hails ‘monster’ 2017 cars

Leave a comment

The 2016 Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg is back… sort of.

The recently retired Rosberg paid his first visit to the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona on Wednesday for the third day of this week’s first test of the offseason to catch up with his colleagues at Mercedes AMG Petronas, check out the new 2017 cars and offer his thoughts on the atmosphere and season ahead.

Rosberg posted a video to Twitter after he left the track this afternoon and immediately hailed the new cars as “proper monsters,” which he hopes will push drivers to their physical limits this season. Rosberg also thanked Liberty Media Corporation, F1’s new owners, for allowing pit lane activity and some track activity to be posted in short videos.

“It was a nice experience for me to see my racing family again. It was fun!” Rosberg said. “It’s great to see the new cars. It’s definitely looking good on that front, because they look like proper monsters. That’s how F1 should be – very extreme.”

Rosberg hopes this may push drivers over the limit to where some races could be won or lost on fatigue.

“With those cars, the drivers need to be gladiators out there. That’s how it should be. They’ll take them to the limit physically,” Rosberg said.

Even now, they’re hurting bad, all of them. That’s great to hear. It should take the drivers physically to their absolute limits. Maybe we’ll see a race where someone will lose a win because they’re just knackered. That would be exciting.”

A natural question you wonder is, would Rosberg want to be out there? After being back at a track, Rosberg felt content and solid with his decision to step back after his proverbial “mic drop” moment.

“For me there was not one single moment where I thought, ‘Damn, I should be sitting in that car,'” Rosberg said. “It was interesting and perfect to realize that.

“I think that’s it! It’s awesome … the vibe is so exciting. All the journalists are out of control with new cars, who’s gonna be fastest, it’s such hype at the moment. (There’s) big hope and big optimism the sport can become even better.”

Here’s what Rosberg posted on Twitter today:

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.