Vettel feeling upbeat ahead of British Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel may have endured a difficult start to the 2014 Formula 1 season, but the German driver is still feeling positive heading to next weekend’s British Grand Prix.

Silverstone has proven to be a happy hunting ground for Red Bull over the past five years, with its drivers winning the race three times. The event is also an important one for the team given that the track is not far from its factory in Milton Keynes.

“I always like going to Silverstone, the track is incredible to drive and the British crowd that turns out to watch the weekend is always massive,” Vettel said in the team’s grand prix preview. “Whether it’s wet or dry everyone always looks like they are having a really good time.”

The race will be the second of three ‘home’ rounds for the team. Last weekend’s race in Austria was the team’s official home race, given that owner Dietrich Mateschitz is Austrian, and the race after Silverstone – the German Grand Prix – is Vettel’s.

“It’s a busy time right now, we had Red Bull’s home race in Austria, the Team’s local event here and then we go to my home race in Germany!” he said. “This race has an extra element as it’s so close to the factory and a lot of the staff who work so hard on the car will be watching from the grandstands with their families – I hope we can get a good result for them.

“As the factory is only about half an hour or so from the track a lot of the race team live nearby and can sleep in their own beds for the weekend which surely is a nice thing for them.

“I have good memories of Silverstone, the best must be winning there in 2009 and Mark [Webber] won there in 2010 and 2012 so we have a good record at the track.”

Vettel’s poor title defence only continued in Austria as he retired when a lap down on the field. For the rest of 2014, a return to the top step of the podium must be the aim for the German driver, but it may take a huge slice of luck for him to follow in teammate Daniel Ricciardo’s footsteps.

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

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
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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.”