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Massa relaxed about F1 future despite Kubica, di Resta test reports

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Felipe Massa is staying relaxed about his racing future despite reportedly looking unlikely to remain with Williams in Formula 1 for the 2018 season.

Massa had planned to retire at the end of last year before being brought back by Williams after Valtteri Bottas’ sudden move up to Mercedes in place of world champion Nico Rosberg, who quit racing five days after winning the title.

Massa has enjoyed his unexpected season so much he is keen to extend his stay with Williams through to 2018, but the team is known to be considering alternatives for 2018.

As per Motor Sport Magazine‘s Mark Hughes, the team will hold a shootout between reserve driver Paul di Resta, who deputized for Massa in Hungary, and Robert Kubica, whose comeback push with Renault has been one of the stories of the year.

Both drivers will get a one-day test in Hungary using a 2014-spec car for a chance to partner Lance Stroll next year, leaving Massa out of the picture.

However, Massa said on Thursday at Suzuka he remains engaged in talks with Williams regarding next year and is relaxed whatever the outcome.

“To be honest in my head I’m pretty relaxed, so I’m enjoying and trying to do the best I can in the last races this year,” Massa said.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen next year. But I’m quite relaxed. I’m quite keen to do maybe another season. I think I can do it in a great way. I can give a lot to the team, like I did already and I think maybe I can do another year.

“I’m talking with the team definitely for next year and we are in discussion. So everything has some directions around, so I have my direction as well to follow, like a professional driver, like I was always in my career in Formula 1 and I am very happy for that.

“That’s the way it is and definitely I can do a good effort for the team but we need to find a good solution to carry on in the right way, that everybody is happy.”

Asked directly about the test with Kubica and di Resta, Massa questioned just how representative or informative running with an old car could be.

“Williams know 100 per cent what I can give to the team and, even if you do a test with a car that is four years before, completely different,” Massa said.

“You cannot evaluate too much, as well. So it doesn’t change anything for me, to be honest.”

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.