Grosjean, Palmer clash early in Sochi; stewards take no action (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

Romain Grosjean and Jolyon Palmer laid blame with one another in Sochi on Sunday after a clash on the opening lap of the Russian Grand Prix resigned both to their second Formula 1 retirement of the season.

Grosjean and Palmer tangled at Turn 2 as the field came through the bottleneck at the first braking zone on Lap 1, causing both to spin into the wall and out of the race.

The stewards looked into the incident and deemed it to have been a racing collision, with no driver fully to blame, but both believed they did no wrong.

“I was on inside of him under braking. I don’t know why he turned in,” Grosjean told NBCSN after the race.

“He tried to get as much on the apex. He just hit me, spun me, then hit me again. We hoped we could understand what was going on during the weekend to prepare for the next race.

“It was just ruined in the first corner.”

When asked where the blame lay, Palmer said: “Not with me. [The] Sauber and Romain were close. I couldn’t do anything more. I had to turn in. It was ambitious. I got sandwiched and he hit me.

“I think you just have to be sensible. It pitches at the apex. Every time you turn to the apex, I had a Sauber with no space, Romain on the inside. I had to turn otherwise the Sauber would have hit me. Then Romain did.”

The clash signaled the end of a disappointing weekend for both drivers, with Palmer and Grosjean also dropping out of Q1 on Saturday in qualifying.

While Grosjean remains 12th in the drivers’ championship with four points to his name, Palmer still is yet to reach the top 10 in 2017 for Renault.

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.