GP2 Series

GP2 Series becomes FIA Formula 2 for 2017

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The World Motor Sport Council has confirmed that the GP2 Series will be known as Formula 2 with immediate effect.

FIA president Jean Todt has pushed throughout his presidency to reform the junior single-seater ladder, with the creation of national Formula 4 championships and the strengthening of the European Formula 3 series being key achievements.

Reviving F2 was a key aim for Todt, the category last being run by Motorsport Vision from 2009 to 2012 before collapsing, and the creation of a new series was approved by the WMSC back in 2015.

Following the sale of the Formula One Group to Liberty Media, talks to rebrand GP2 as F2 has sped up, with the change for 2017 being confirmed on Thursday.

“The World Motor Sport Council approved the creation of the FIA Formula 2 Championship for 2017 onwards,” a statement reads.

“The FIA reached an agreement with the Formula One Group regarding the transition of the GP2 Series to FIA Formula 2, and the series will support the FIA Formula One World Championship in all but one of the dates.”

The calendar for F2 in 2017 remains unchanged from that of GP2, supporting Formula 1 at 10 rounds and enjoying a standalone event at Jerez in October.

“Completing this process with Formula One Group and bringing FIA Formula 2 to life is a very important step,” Todt said.

“The championship will provide the final level for junior drivers who are looking to reach the ultimate goal of Formula One, and we have achieved a key target for the FIA in completing our single-seater pyramid.

“In recent years we have developed a hugely successful program of FIA Formula 4 championships in 12 countries around the world, the FIA F3 European Championship has become very strong and competitive, and now we have this final piece of the puzzle.

“I am also very pleased to see that we are already working in the same direction as Formula One Group, and I am sure that this positive relationship will continue to benefit our sport.”

2017 FIA Formula 2 Calendar

1. Sakhir, Bahrain – 14-16 April
2. Barcelona, Spain – 12-14 May
3. Monte Carlo, Monaco – 25-27 May
4. Baku, Azerbaijan – 23-25 June
5. Spielberg, Austria – 7-9 July
6. Silverstone, Great Britain – 14-16 July
7. Budapest, Hungary – 28-30 July
8. Spa, Belgium – 25-27 August
9. Monza, Italy – 1-3 September
10. Jerez, Spain – 6-8 October
11. Abu Dhabi – 24-26 November

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.