Formula E

Formula E forms partnership with technology firm, changes series’ name

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Formula E announced this morning a partnership with major technology company ABB that will also change the series’ name.

Going forward immediately, the series will now be known as the “ABB FIA Formula E Championship.”

The partnership makes plenty of sense. Switzerland-based ABB is a pioneer in electric vehicle technology, and Formula E cars are powered by electric batteries, not gas.

“Today, two pioneers are uniting,” ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer said. “ABB and Formula E are a natural fit at the forefront of the latest electrification and digital technologies.

“Together, we will write the next phase of the development of this exciting racing partnership and foster high-performance teams. Together, we will write the future – one electrifying race at a time.”

ABBs Ulrich Spiesshofer and Formula E chief Alejandro Agag

Added Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Formula E: “This is a historic day for Formula E and I’m honored to welcome ABB as the title and technology partner of the series, with its background and expertise in the field of electrification and digital technologies.

“Our two companies are synonymous with pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Together, as partners, we will showcase breakthrough technology on a global scale to fans and consumers who follow the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.”

According to a report by The Associated Press, the deal between ABB and Formula One is seven years and reportedly worth $100 million over that term.

Formula E held its first race in Beijing, China in September 2014 and quickly became the No. 1 all-electric motor sport. The series has expanded to some of the biggest international markets in the world including New York, Hong Kong, Paris and Zurich.

There currently are 10 teams and 20 drivers competing in 11 cities across five continents, with the season championship scheduled for July.

The next Formula E race is this Saturday in Marrakesh, Morocco.

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.