Jaime Alguersuari confused by tire ‘drama’

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Former Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari has admitted that he does not understand the drama surrounding Pirelli’s 2013 tire compounds.

The Spanish driver last raced in Formula One in 2011, but he was dropped by the Italian team in favor of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne, and he has not been linked to any seats recently. However, he is still in a position to comment on the on-going saga, having used Pirelli tires during his final F1 season.

“I don’t see the drama. When Vettel was winning in 2011 things were like this but when things go well you don’t complain and when they go wrong you complain about the tires,” Alguersuari explained to Spanish newspaper AS.

“Four stops in Spain were to be expected because it is very abrasive asphalt and high temperatures.”

When Alguersuari last raced at the Circuit de Catalunya in 2011, a four-stop strategy was used by race winner Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton (P2), Mark Webber (P4) and Fernando Alonso (P5), yet no great fuss was made. Alguersuari believes that it is a case of some teams having more success with the tires than others.

“What is happening is that some understand the tyres and others don’t.

“Alonso and Ferrari understand the rubber, so do Raikkonen and Lotus. Others do not.”

The situation took another twist last night with the FIA announcing that any changes had to be made on safety grounds, not to intentionally reduce the number of pit stops. Therefore, Pirelli may have to revise their plans for a radical redesign, but we can still expect to see the new tires debuting at the Canadian Grand Prix next month.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”