Webber will miss “special circuits” after F1 exit

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Mark Webber says the thrill of driving F1 cars on some of the world’s best racing circuits is what he will miss most about Formula One.

“I think there are some special circuits which we race on,” said Webber after his final race at Interlagos yesterday. “Obviously Suzuka, Spa, Monte Carlo, Silverstone, even here to a degree.”

Webber will drive for Porsche in the World Endurance Championship next year, which has rounds at Spa, Silverstone and Interlagos, as well as the La Sarthe circuit which hosts the Le Mans 24 Hours.

“There are some really nice circuits which, when you have the car in the window,” said Webber, “particularly in qualifying, there’s not much that can please a driver more than having the car on the edge and having yourself on the edge in the ultimate machine and that is something which I will miss.”

However he said he was wary of losing the ability to compete at the highest level after 12 seasons in F1. “You also have to respect that you want to make sure that you’re getting the best out of yourself in that scenario,” he said.

“If you think you’re a little bit off, then it’s not as rewarding as it once was. I will miss those scenarios.”

Webber said he will also miss “the perfection that goes on in this game, especially with a team like Red Bull, the amount of work that goes in, the details”.

“It’s quite inspiring to watch the relentless approach with the work, that’s something which I’ve learned a lot and I will take it to future challenges around the corner.”

However Webber added he was looking forward to not having to travel as much and being able to relax more. “I’m not young but I’m not old,” he said, “I’m in the window, it’s a good time for me to get that balance, a little bit less intensity in the private life and also in the professional life.”

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.”