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Steiner: Magnussen more capable of driving around Haas F1 brake problems

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Haas Formula 1 chief Guenther Steiner says that Kevin Magnussen is more capable of driving around its ongoing braking problems than teammate Romain Grosjean, allowing him to charge to the team’s best result of the year in Baku nine days ago.

Brakes have been a problem for the Haas team ever since its debut in F1 at the start of 2016, with a change of supplier earlier this year failing to remedy the problem.

Grosjean has been particularly vocal about the problems, with his radio transmissions regularly appearing on TV broadcasts, while Magnussen has been more reserved about the issues.

Previewing this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, Haas team boss Steiner put his driver’s varying results in Baku down to their different experiences with the braking issue, with Grosjean coming off worse.

“It’s not that Kevin didn’t have the problems with the brakes. With his driving style – for him it’s easier to drive around it, or make it less evident,” Steiner said.

“He was not happy with the brakes in FP2. For the race, he had to lift and coast, as well, because we had some issues.

“With Romain’s driving style, the brakes need to be perfect, or as close to perfect as can be. At the moment, we are not there.

“The cars as a setup – suspension-wise and aero-wise – are pretty similar all the time. But their driving styles – how they go into a corner – that’s a little bit different.

“In the end the cars are not far apart. The drivers work with their race engineer, but the cars, in principle, are very similar.”

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.