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Palmer keen to snap bad luck in Austria, begin to build momentum

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Jolyon Palmer wants to end his run of bad luck in Formula 1 and begin to build momentum in next weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix to carry through to the sport’s summer break.

Palmer has endured a point-less start to the season with Renault, with his sole top-10 finish in F1 coming in last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

Speculation has been rife about the Briton’s future at Enstone amid suggestions he could be replaced mid-season, with a difficult weekend in Azerbaijan last time out not aiding matters.

Palmer suffered problems in his car on all three days of the race weekend, preventing him from taking part in qualifying or finishing the race.

“There isn’t a lot to say from my weekend, but it was a crazy race to watch!” Palmer said of Baku.

“I enjoyed watching it, but I wish I was in it, I think there were some points up for grabs for us.

“We will make sure we have a better one in Austria, the target is always the same: to bring home some points.”

Palmer is treating the Austria weekend as a catalyst to kick-start his season, having previously enjoyed strong outings at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.

“We started on the penultimate row last year but I managed to work my way up to 12th, beating my teammate. I was quite happy with the race, we just needed a little bit of extra luck and I think we could have been in the points,” Palmer said.

“It is a circuit I enjoy having raced there in GP2 in 2014 and then a Free Practice session in 2015. It was definitely one of my strongest races of last season, so it is important to build on the knowledge we have and my confidence at the track and work towards a positive result.

“We need to change our luck. I hope we can make it all stick heading into the final few rounds before the summer break – beginning here.”

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.