Massa still adamant that Germany crash was not his fault

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Felipe Massa remains adamant that the first corner crash with Kevin Magnussen at the German Grand Prix was not his fault at all, and has hit out at the McLaren driver for being too aggressive.

The two drivers came together at the first sweeping right-hander at Hockenheim on the first lap, causing Massa to roll in his Williams. The Brazilian driver walked away unharmed, but the FIA decided that it was a racing incident.

Massa made some comments after the crash criticizing Magnussen for trying to win the race at the first corner, and his stance has not changed since last Sunday.

“I think he was a little bit too aggressive,” Massa said. “There were two cars there that he had not even the line to make that corner so quickly because he was on the inside.

“At the end of the day, he lost also points because of that, so it’s not just me. For sure, I lost and it was a big loss, and I was very cautious on that corner. I even backed off for Valtteri to go in front.

“In my car it was impossible to know that someone else was there. I couldn’t see!”

General paddock consensus suggested that Massa was to blame, but he found this laughable, comparing it to the incident at the 2014 Australian Grand Prix where he was taken out by Kamui Kobayashi and was clearly blameless.

“So you see that there is a lot to improve even in the FIA,” he said when asked about the stewards actions.

“You think it was my fault? It was my fault in the first race as well in Australia,” he added with more than a hint of sarcasm.

“I’m just saying that if the stewards is thinking like that, I don’t know who they’re taking to be steward to be honest. How many races has he caused problems on the first lap?” he said, referring to Magnussen.

Massa is now moving on from the incident, though, and has switched his focus to this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

“I don’t think really we need to go to the past and live in the past,” he said. “You need to live in the future, we need to live the present and we need to concentrate to do a good job here. That’s the only thing I care about. What is past, it will not change.”

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

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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.”