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Verstappen hopeful of wet Brazilian GP after 2016 star display

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Fresh from taking his second victory of the Formula 1 season in Mexico last weekend, Max Verstappen is already focused on adding to his haul at next weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, bringing back memories of his stunning display in last year’s Interlagos race.

Verstappen produced a wet-weather display for the ages at Interlagos in 2016, finishing third after fighting his way through the order twice, as well as performing a stunning save to keep his car out of the wall in torrential rain.

Looking ahead to next weekend’s race in Brazil, Verstappen is already crossing his fingers for rain, even if Red Bull’s recent dry pace has appeared to be the class of the field.

“We are looking for another strong performance at Interlagos following a really fun race in the wet last year,” Verstappen said.

“I really enjoyed 2016, there were some great battles and overtakes which resulted in a hard-earned podium.

“I also had a big moment near pit lane entry, which was a close call, I managed to save it and carry on to achieve a good result.

“As you would expect, I’m hoping for another damp race weekend as I don’t think we can be as competitive there in the dry, especially with the elevation changes on the straight, it is not our strongest point.”

Verstappen sits sixth in the F1 drivers’ standings with two races to go, 30 points behind Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in fifth place, and has scored more points in the last four rounds than any other driver.

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.