Red Bull drivers excluded from qualifying in Abu Dhabi

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ABU DHABI – Red Bull has been excluded from qualifying for tomorrow’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after its cars were found to be in breach of the technical regulations.

Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel qualified in fifth and sixth place respectively at the Yas Marina Circuit on Saturday, but were called before the stewards after the FIA technical delegate deemed the front wing on their cars to be illegal.

The statement from FIA technical delegate, Jo Bauer, reads as follows:

“When checking the front wing of car numbers #1 and #3, it was found that the front wing flags were designed to flex under aerodynamic load.

“In my opinion, this is not in compliance with article 3.15 of the Formula 1 technical regulations. Therefore, I am referring this matter to the stewards for their consideration.”

At 21:26 local time, the stewards confirmed that Ricciardo and Vettel had been excluded.

“The stewards, having received a report from the technical delegate, heard from team representatives, have considered the following matter, determine a breach of the regulations has been committed by the competitor named.”

For both Vettel and Ricciardo, the stewards said that their cars “did not comply with article 3.15 (aerodynamic influence)” of the regulations.

However, “the competitor is allowed to start the race from the back of the grid,” as per the statement issued.

Red Bull has responded to the ruling with the following statement:

“Following the decision of the stewards regarding the front wings on both our cars (Car 1 and Car 3), we are disappointed that we have been singled out for a front wing deflection test when it is clear that other teams are interpreting the rules in a similar fashion.

“The team accepts the decision of the stewards and will start the race from the back of the grid.”

As a change will need to be made to the front wing to bring the cars in line with the technical regulations, a pit lane start is more likely for both Ricciardo and Vettel.

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.”